Survey: Medicare Rx program highly popular


Michele Meixell

The Medicare prescription drug benefit is still popular after all these years. Nine in 10 seniors with Medicare prescription drug coverage are satisfied with the program, and 97 percent said their coverage works well, according to a survey released by Medicare Today.

Among the survey’s other findings:

  • 96 percent said they felt “peace of mind” by having prescription drug coverage under Medicare, known as Part D.
  • 95 percent said their plan is convenient to use.
  • 84 percent said both their premiums and co-pays are affordable.
  • 88 percent said their Part D plan is meeting their expectations.
  • 72 percent said they are better off now than before they had Part D coverage.
  • And 89 percent would recommend the program to someone considering Medicare enrollment.

“Ten years after becoming law, it is clear that seniors remain happy with their Part D coverage and that the program is meeting their healthcare needs,” said Mary R. Grealy, chairman of Medicare Today and president of the Healthcare Leadership Council.

Not only are seniors happy with the Medicare prescription drug benefit, it is a good deal for them – and the system as a whole.

2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that American seniors’ increased access to medicines via the Medicare prescription drug program led to reduced spending on post-acute care such as hospitals and nursing homes.

The study found that Medicare Part D enrollees who had inadequate prescription drug coverage or no prescription drug coverage prior to enrolling in the Part D benefit each saved an average of $1,200 per year, which resulted in savings of $12 billion in federal spending for non-drug costs in the Medicare program.