Medicare Part D: How Do Vulnerable Beneficiaries Fare?


Health insurance coverage for Medicare beneficiaries has been broadened by the addition of a prescription drug benefit—Medicare Part D. For some beneficiaries, however, particularly those who must make the transition from Medicaid to Medicare prescription coverage, the new program can be confusing or disruptive and result in delays in getting drugs or in adverse health outcomes. In the fall of 2006, well after Part D was implemented, counselors, attorneys, program managers, health professionals, and others who have direct knowledge of beneficiaries' experiences identified a continuing need for accurate, easy-to-use information about private drug plan options and procedures associated with using the plans. This issue brief details counselors' responses to researchers' questions and suggests that certain policy and procedural changes could enhance program performance.

Also see: Medicare Part D: State and Local Efforts to Assist Vulnerable Beneficiaries

Publication Details

Publication Date: May 1, 2008
Authors: Laura Summer, Patricia Nemore, Jeanne Finberg

L. Summer, P. Nemore, and J. Finberg, Medicare Part D: How Do Vulnerable Beneficiaries Fare?, The Commonwealth Fund, May 2008.

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