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Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Specialty Tiers

This Medicare Part D data spotlight focuses on the use of specialty tiers for high-cost and injectible drugs in Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in 2008. It finds that the number of plans with specialty tiers has nearly doubled since 2006. It also looks at the drugs assigned to specialty tiers, the beneficiary cost sharing structure, and policy implications such higher out-of-pocket expenses and selection issues among beneficiaries who evaluate plans based on cost sharing.

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 of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Data Spotlight (.pdf)