NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Medicare Part D and its Effect on the Use of Prescription Drugs, Use of Other Health Care Services and Health of the Elderly

Robert Kaestner, Nasreen Khan

NBER Working Paper No. 16011
Issued in May 2010
NBER Program(s):   HC   HE   PE

We examine the effect of gaining prescription drug insurance as a result of Medicare Part D on use of prescription drugs, use of other medical services, and health for a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries. Given the heightened importance of prescription drugs for those with chronic illness, we provide separate estimates for those in poorer health. We find that gaining prescription drug insurance through Medicare Part D was associated with a 70% increase in the number of annual prescriptions, but that obtaining prescription drug insurance is not significantly related to use of other health care services or health, as measured by functional status and self-reported health. Among those in poorer health, we find that gaining prescription drug insurance was associated with a 60% increase in the number of annual prescriptions, and is not significantly related to use of other services or health.

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This paper was revised on December 5, 2011

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16011

Published: Kaestner, Robert and Nasreen Khan. 2012. Medicare Part D and its Effect on the Use of Prescription Drugs and Use of Other Health Care Services of the Elderly.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 31(2):253 - 279.

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