Did Medicare Part D Reduce Mortality?

54 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2015 Last revised: 13 May 2017

See all articles by Jason Huh

Jason Huh

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Julian Reif

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Date Written: February 15, 2017

Abstract

We investigate the implementation of Medicare Part D and estimate that this prescription drug benefit program reduced elderly mortality by 2.2 percent annually. This was driven primarily by a reduction in cardiovascular mortality, the leading cause of death for the elderly. There was no effect on deaths due to cancer, a condition whose drug treatments are covered under Medicare Part B. We validate these results by demonstrating that the changes in drug utilization following the implementation of Medicare Part D match the mortality patterns we observe. We calculate that the value of the mortality reduction is equal to $5 billion per year.

Keywords: Medicare Part D, prescription drug insurance, mortality

JEL Classification: H51, I18, J14

Suggested Citation

Huh, Jason and Reif, Julian, Did Medicare Part D Reduce Mortality? (February 15, 2017). Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 53, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2637397 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2637397

Jason Huh

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ( email )

110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.jason-huh.com

Julian Reif (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.julianreif.com

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