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Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Benefit Design

This Medicare Part D data spotlight examines the benefit design of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) in 2008, focusing on national plans. It shows that in 2008, as in previous years, only about 10 percent of national prescription drug plans offered the defined standard benefit. The spotlight also looks at cost sharing structures, the use of flat dollar copayments, the upward trend in cost sharing for non-preferred drugs, and recent changes in cost sharing levels between 2007 and 2008. The analysis finds that the flexibility of Part D plan benefit design allowed by the Medicare Modernization Act has generated substantial variation across plans and across years, with most plans undertaking modifications to design and cost sharing amounts.

This spotlight is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the Medicare Part D drug plans that will be available to beneficiaries in 2008. The analysis was conducted jointly by Jack Hoadley of Georgetown University, Elizabeth Hargrave and Katie Merrell of NORC at the University of Chicago, and Juliette Cubanski and Tricia Neuman of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Data Spotlight (.pdf)