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

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.

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.

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. The analysis was conducted jointed by Jack Hoadley and Laura Summer of Georgetown University, Elizabeth Hargrave of NORC at the University of Chicago, and Juliette Cubanski and Tricia Neuman of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Data Spotlight (.pdf)