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Prescription Drugs, Medical Care, and Health Outcomes: A Model of Elderly Health Dynamics

Author

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  • Zhou Yang
  • Donna B. Gilleskie
  • Edward C. Norton

Abstract

There is much debate about whether the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill -- the greatest expansion of Medicare benefits since its creation in 1965 -- will improve the health of elderly Americans, and how much it will cost. We model how insurance affects medical care utilization, and subsequently, health outcomes over time in a dynamic model with correlated errors. Longitudinal individual-level data from the 1992-1998 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey provide estimates of these effects. Simulations over five years show that expanding prescription drug coverage would increase drug expenditures by between 12% and 17%. However, other health care expenditures would only increase slightly, and the mortality rate would improve.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhou Yang & Donna B. Gilleskie & Edward C. Norton, 2004. "Prescription Drugs, Medical Care, and Health Outcomes: A Model of Elderly Health Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 10964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10964
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Gaynor & Jian Li & William B. Vogt, 2006. "Is Drug Coverage a Free Lunch? Cross-Price Elasticities and the Design of Prescription Drug Benefits," NBER Working Papers 12758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gowrisankaran Gautam & Town Robert & Barrette Eric, 2011. "Managed Care, Drug Benefits and Mortality: An Analysis of the Elderly," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-32, January.
    3. John R. Moran & JKosali Ilayperuma Simon, 2006. "Income and the Use of Prescription Drugs by the Elderly: Evidence from the Notch Cohorts," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
    4. Florian Heiss & Daniel McFadden & Joachim Winter, 2010. "Mind the Gap! Consumer Perceptions and Choices of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans," NBER Chapters,in: Research Findings in the Economics of Aging, pages 413-481 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Robert Kaestner & Nasreen Khan, 2010. "Medicare Part D and its Effect on the Use of Prescription Drugs, Use of Other Health Care Services and Health of the Elderly," NBER Working Papers 16011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

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