Seniors Overspending on Prescription Drug Plans

Medicare Part D beneficiaries overspend by hundreds per year due to difficulty selecting plan

FRIDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Recipients of Medicare Part D benefits have difficulty selecting the most cost-effective plan to cover their medication needs and, consequently, overpay by an average of $368 per year, with one-fifth overspending by $500 or more per year, according to research published in the October issue of Health Affairs.

Chao Zhou, Ph.D., and Yuting Zhang, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, conducted a study using 2009 Medicare Part D data to determine whether seniors were able to choose the most cost-effective plan for themselves from among the dozens of competing plans.

The researchers found that only 5.2 percent of beneficiaries chose the cheapest plan. On average, Medicare Part D beneficiaries spent $368 more per year than necessary, based on their medication needs. A substantial percentage (22 percent) spent $500 or more per year above what was necessary. Many overspent on plan premiums for unneeded features such as generic drug coverage.

"People need assistance in choosing the least expensive plan for their medical needs," Zhou said in a statement. "Educational programs that help people navigate the dozens of plans available would make it easier to select plans that best meet their health care needs without overspending."

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles Recommended Nursing Articles

Abdominal Pain: An Approach to a Challenging Diagnosis
AACN Advanced Critical Care, July/September 2014
Free access will expire on October 13, 2014.


HIPAA Compliance Practice Tips
Professional Case Management, July/August 2014
Free access will expire on September 29, 2014.


Follow the leader: How does “followership” influence nurse burnout?
Nursing Management, August 2014
Free access will expire on September 29, 2014.


More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events