Report: Dual eligibles to cost more than others in drug plan

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Dual eligibles will cost more than other beneficiaries for prescription drug plans participating in the new drug benefit, according to data released last month.

The drug use and costs of this population "may be sharply higher than those of other Medicare beneficiaries," according to an issue brief. Mathematica Policy Research Inc. disclosed state-by-state data in its report released August 22.

Medicaid reimbursement for prescription drugs for disabled duals under 65 years old was $2,143 in 1999, nearly 50% higher than the average reimbursement for disabled duals age 65 and over. Dual eligibles who receive both Medicaid and Medicare coverage make up about 70% of nursing home residents.

The Mathematica issue brief is available at http://www.mathematica.org/.

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