Study: Nursing home residents with most to gain from Medicare Part D drug program are least likely to enroll

Share this content:

Many nursing home residents benefit from Medicare Part D but don't enroll in the prescription drug program, according to a recent study.

Those who stood to benefit most from the plan—those who are older, have no drug coverage and higher comorbidities—were least likely to enroll, according to the study. Researchers speculate that nursing home residents have a hard time finding information on Part D plans since much of the available material is found online, and many seniors in nursing homes don't use the Internet. The study raised the question of whether residents receive enough information about Medicare Part D. The full report appears in a recent edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The study encompassed more than 800,000 patients from across the country. Analyses were made for one year before and one year after Medicare Part D took effect. Those who enrolled in the program saw their out-of-pocket expenses fall to 6.1% from 11.1%. Those who did not enroll incurred out-of-pocket expenses of about 23%, the study found. Expenses among those with no previous drug coverage dropped from 100% to 34%.