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Medicare Part D and the Financial Protection of the Elderly

  • Gary V. Engelhardt
  • Jonathan Gruber
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    We examine the impact of the expansion of public prescription-drug insurance coverage from Medicare Part D and find evidence of substantial crowd-out. Using the 2002-2007 waves of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, we estimate the extension of Part D benefits resulted in 75 percent crowd-out of both prescription-drug insurance coverage and expenditures of those 65 and older. Part D is associated with sizeable reductions in out-of-pocket spending, much of which has accrued to a small proportion of the elderly. On average, we estimate a welfare gain from Part D comparable to the deadweight cost of program financing. (JEL H51, I18, J14)

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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 77-102

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:77-102
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.4.77
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    1. Feenberg, Daniel & Skinner, Jonathan, 1994. "The Risk and Duration of Catastrophic Health Care Expenditures," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 633-47, November.
    2. Heiss, Florian & McFadden, Daniel L. & Winter, Joachim, 2006. "Who failed to enroll in Medicare Part D, and why? Early results," Munich Reprints in Economics 19427, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Gruber, Jonathan & Simon, Kosali, 2008. "Crowd-out 10 years later: Have recent public insurance expansions crowded out private health insurance?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 201-217, March.
    4. Jonathan D. Ketcham & Kosali Simon, 2008. "Medicare Part D's Effects on Elderly Drug Costs and Utilization," NBER Working Papers 14326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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