Accession Number:

ADA409325

Title:

A CBO Study: Issues in Designing a Prescription Drug Benefit for Medicare

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE (U S CONGRESS) WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2002-10-01

Pagination or Media Count:

68.0

Abstract:

One of lawmakers highest health-related priorities is adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. Although that program gives older Americans broad insurance coverage for many health needs, it provides only limited coverage of drugs not dispensed during a hospital stay. That gap in coverage has become increasingly significant as prescription drugs have assumed greater importance in the treatment of disease and as spending for outpatient prescription drugs has soared. Designing a Medicare drug benefit is a complex task, however. The competing goals for such a benefit mean that policymakers must make trade-offs such as between broad coverage or widespread enrollment and cost. They must consider many different design elements and how those elements might interact. And they must try to avoid various problems that arise in creating such a benefit. Ultimately, the choices that designers make will affect not only the cost of the benefit but a host of other factors, such as demand for and prices of prescription drugs, spending by other federal and state programs, and how various parts of the market for health insurance operate.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Pharmacology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE