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American Economic Review: Vol. 102 No. 6 (October 2012)

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Sinking, Swimming, or Learning to Swim in Medicare Part D

Article Citation

Ketcham, Jonathan D., Claudio Lucarelli, Eugenio J. Miravete, and M. Christopher Roebuck. 2012. "Sinking, Swimming, or Learning to Swim in Medicare Part D." American Economic Review, 102(6): 2639-73.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.6.2639

Abstract

Under Medicare Part D, senior citizens choose prescription drug insurance offered by numerous private insurers. We examine nonpoor enrollees- actions in 2006 and 2007 using panel data. Our sample reduced overspending by $298 on average, with gains by 81 percent of them. The greatest improvements were by those who overspent most in 2006 and by those who switched plans. Decisions to switch depended on individuals' overspending in 2006 and on individual-specific effects of changes in their current plans. The oldest consumers and those initiating medications for Alzheimer's disease improved by more than average, suggesting that real-world institutions help overcome cognitive limitations. (JEL D14, G22, H51, I13, I18)

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Authors

Ketcham, Jonathan D. (AZ State U)
Lucarelli, Claudio (Cornell U and LDI, U PA)
Miravete, Eugenio J. (U TX)
Roebuck, M. Christopher (RXEconomics, Hunt Valley, MD)

JEL Classifications

D14: Personal Finance
G22: Insurance; Insurance Companies
H51: National Government Expenditures and Health
I13: Health Insurance, Public and Private
I18: Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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