Vulnerable Populations To Face Higher Costs Under Medicare Rx Benefit


The new Medicare drug benefit is likely to result in modest to moderate declines in out-of-pocket spending for seniors who do not receive low-income subsidies, but vulnerable populations will not share equitably in those savings, a team led by Walid Gellad reports in the January/February Health Affairs. Using data from the 1996-2000 Medicare Expenditure Panel survey, the researchers estimate that many racial and ethnic minorities, near-poor people, and people with severe chronic conditions will face higher costs than others eligible for the standard Medicare benefit.

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