Effects of Prescription Drug Insurance on Hospitalization and Mortality: Evidence from Medicare Part D

NBER: 2/28

We examine whether obtaining prescription drug insurance through the Medicare Part D program affected hospital admissions, expenditures associated with those admissions, and mortality. We use a large, geographically diverse sample of Medicare beneficiaries and exploit the natural experiment of Medicare Part D to obtain estimates of the effect of prescription drug insurance on hospitalizations and mortality. Results indicate that obtaining prescription drug insurance through Medicare Part D was associated with an 8% decrease in the number of hospital admissions, a 7% decrease in Medicare expenditures, and a 12% decrease in total resource use. Gaining prescription drug insurance through Medicare Part D was not significantly associated with mortality. Read More