Whether you are a direct beneficiary, a caregiver or simply an American taxpayer, Medicare Part D impacts you. The Medicare Part D program, which was created by the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 and formally implemented in 2006, provides affordable prescription drug coverage to seniors and people living with disabilities. Medicare Part D has long been widely touted as a success for patients and members of the public alike.
Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at the role the Part D program plays in our lives.
- How it impacts beneficiaries: Part D has helped tens of millions of beneficiaries manage a number of chronic and life-threatening conditions, including HIV, mental illness, cancer and epilepsy. Part D has also strengthened patients’ access to critical immunizations, such as the shingles vaccine, which can reduce the risk of developing the viral infection by up to 90%.
- How it impacts caregivers: Part D helps to improve adherence to prescribed medications, enabling caregivers to more easily support their loved ones and keep them healthy. In fact, one study found that adherence improved threefold for Medicare patients taking cardiovascular medications. Part D also ensures affordable access which gives caregivers and loved ones comfort.
- How it impacts taxpayers: Improved medicine coverage and adherence also helps control Medicare costs by reducing spending on other health care services, which means savings for health systems and taxpayers. The program has also been a good steward of taxpayer dollars, with total program costs coming in at nearly $350 billion less than the Congressional Budget Office’s initial 10-year estimate.
Medicare Part D impacts all of us by providing beneficiaries with comprehensive prescription drug coverage, leading to better health outcomes and savings for the health care system and taxpayers. Check back here over the coming weeks for more information about Medicare Part D’s impact. In the meantime, learn more at PhRMA.org/PartD.
Tom Wilbur is Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA focusing on federal advocacy priorities including Medicare and intellectual property. Prior to joining PhRMA, Tom worked in politics and on Capitol Hill, most recently responsible for communications and strategy for U.S. Rep. Fred Upton and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Tom is a proud Michigander and outside of the office enjoys reading, running, hiking, golfing, live music, and spending time with family and friends.