Entitlements in the age of austerity : Medicare Part D

O'Neil, Matthew John
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2011]
Using data from the 2004 to 2008 waves of the bi-annual University of Michigan Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), this dissertation examines Medicare Part D, the prescription drug plan for seniors. This study uses the social contract and elements of political economy theory to develop an investigative framework for analysis of the consequences of social policies such as Medicare Part D. The study principally examines the consequences of Medicare Part D for enrolled HRS survey participants who use prescription drugs. Employing a longitudinal panel design, the analyses explore the participant experience with Medicare Part D. Specifically this study addresses four basic research questions: 1. What are the demographic characteristics of HRS sample respondents who had Medicare Part D coverage in 2006 and 2008? 2. What are some of the changes in the prescription-drug experience for retirees as a result of enrollment in Medicare Part D? 3. What are the demographic factors associated with the utilization of and satisfaction with prescription drugs through Medicare Part D for Medicare-enrolled HRS survey respondents? 4. How and for whom have out-of-pocket prescription costs changed as a result of enrollment in Medicare Part D? As a general summary of the results, the results showed that more than 90% of HRS survey respondents had signed up for Medicare Part D in 2006. The analyses also revealed that monthly prescription costs decreased after enrollment in Medicare part D. Over time, Medicare Part D respondents had lower prescription drug payments per month after enrolling in Medicare Part D, both in 2008 as compared to 2006 and in 2006 as compared to 2006. Demographically, educational attainment was the most significant factor in both increased use of medication and increased use of supplemental insurance plans. This study also showed that prescription-plan payments increased over time and that the sharpest increases in prescription-plan payments occurred between 2004 and 2006, with only a slight increase from 2006 to 2008.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
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