Part D Survey Results Show Nothing but Love from Seniors

Part D Survey Results Show Nothing but Love from Seniors

10.03.12 | By Jenni Brewer

Medicare Today has released its 2012 beneficiary satisfaction survey results today and to put it simply, seniors love Medicare Part D. Check out USA Today's story that provides a great snapshot on the impressive results.

My own recap: The survey showed that 90 percent of seniors enrolled in Part D are satisfied with their coverage - an increase from 78 percent in overall satisfaction since the program's implementation. Additionally, 96 percent report that their coverage works well with nearly three in four seniors saying it works "very well."

Other key learnings:

  • More than 8 in 10 seniors report that their plan is delivering on predictability and affordability, is reasonable and offers good value.
  • Those feeling "peace of mind" by having Part D coverage has increased 16 points (78 to 94 percent) since 2006.
  • 91 percent of seniors earning less than $15,000 per year and 95 percent of those eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid report being satisfied with the program.

But seniors are not simply satisfied with the program - the survey also reveals that Part D is helping them adhere to medication regimens through increased access and affordability. 84 percent of seniors report that their out-of-pocket drug costs would be much higher without Part D and 61 percent would be unable to fill all of their prescriptions. Similarly, 53 percent would be more likely to cut back or stop taking medicine altogether.

Increased adherence because of Part D has been linked to reduced healthcare spending. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Part D saved about $1,200 in one year in lower hospital, skilled nursing facility and other medical costs for each senior previously lacking comprehensive prescription drug coverage.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, open enrollment is around the corner (mark your calendar for October 15), so for seniors who are not as satisfied with their Part D coverage, now is the time to shop around. A tool worth starting with is Medicare.gov's Medicare Plan Finder.

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