Does Medicare Part D Protect the Elderly from Financial Risk?

Gary V. Engelhardt Jonathan Gruber

IB#11-8

The brief’s key findings are:

  • The Medicare Part D prescription drug program covers a large percentage of the elderly and their prescription costs.
  • Strikingly, as of 2007, about 70 percent of the program’s enrollees already had drug coverage before joining Part D.
  • Similarly, about 75 percent of Part D spending substituted for spending by private insurance or individuals.
  • A full assessment of Part D’s overall social impact requires further research.