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Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: A Comparison of PDPs Offering Basic and Enhanced Benefits

Companies that sponsor Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are required to offer a basic benefit, either the standard Part D benefit defined by law or an actuarially equivalent benefit design. Plan sponsors can also offer plans with enhanced drug benefits. Enhanced plans are required to have a greater actuarial value than basic plans, but plans vary in the ways in which they improve coverage.

This Part D Data Spotlight examines key differences between basic and enhanced Medicare stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs), including monthly premiums, cost sharing, and gap coverage. It also examines plan names to assess whether they convey meaningful differences between basic and enhanced PDPs.

The spotlight is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the Medicare Part D drug plans that will be available to beneficiaries in 2010. These spotlights were prepared by a team of researchers at Georgetown University, NORC and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Data Spotlight (.pdf)