Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Health Serv Res. 2013 Oct;48(5):1653-68. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12062. Epub 2013 May 13.

Responses to Medicare drug costs among near-poor versus subsidized beneficiaries.

Author information

1
Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, 50 Staniford St, 9th floor, Suite 901, Boston, MA, 02114.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

There is limited information on the protective value of Medicare Part D low-income subsidies (LIS). We compared responses to drug costs for LIS recipients with near-poor (≤200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level) and higher income beneficiaries without the LIS.

DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING:

Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in 2008.

STUDY DESIGN:

We examined three drug cost responses using multivariate logistic regression: cost-reducing behaviors (e.g., switching to generics), nonadherence (e.g., not refilling prescriptions), and financial stress (e.g., going without necessities).

DATA COLLECTION:

Telephone interviews in a stratified random sample (N = 1,201, 70 percent response rate).

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

After adjustment, a comparable percentage of unsubsidized near-poor (26 percent) and higher income beneficiaries reported cost-reducing behaviors (23 percent, p = .63); fewer LIS beneficiaries reported cost-reducing behaviors (15 percent, p = .019 vs near-poor). Unsubsidized near-poor beneficiaries were more likely to reduce adherence (8.2 percent) than higher income (3.5 percent, p = .049) and LIS beneficiaries (3.1 percent, p = .027). Near-poor beneficiaries also more frequently experienced financial stress due to drug costs (20 percent) than higher income beneficiaries (11 percent, p = .050) and LIS beneficiaries (11 percent, p = .015).

CONCLUSIONS:

Low-income subsidies provide protection from drug cost-related nonadherence and financial stress. Beneficiaries just above the LIS income threshold are most at risk for these potentially adverse behaviors.

KEYWORDS:

Medicare; drug cost-sharing; low-income subsidies

PMID:
23663197
PMCID:
PMC3796106
DOI:
10.1111/1475-6773.12062
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center