Private Provision of Social Insurance: Drug-Specific Price Elasticities and Cost Sharing in Medicare Part D
- American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (Forthcoming)
We explore how private drug plans set cost-sharing in the context of Medicare Part D. While publicly-provided drug coverage typically involves uniform cost-sharing across drugs, we document substantial heterogeneity in the cost-sharing for different drugs within privately-provided plans. We also document that private plans systematically set higher consumer cost sharing for drugs or classes associated with more elastic demand; to do so we estimate price elasticities of demand across more than 150 drugs and across more than 100 therapeutic classes. We conclude by discussing the various channels that likely affect private plans' cost-sharing decisions.
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