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Medicare Monday: Study finds mortality rates for elderly have decreased every year since creation of Part D

Nicole Longo
Nicole Longo July 10, 2017

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On Medicare Monday, we’ve talked about how Medicare Part D’s competitive structure improves access to affordable prescription drug coverage for seniors and individuals with disabilities. We’ve also talked about the positive impact Part D has had on America’s seniors. Today, we’re diving into how Part D has impacted mortality rates for seniors.

In case you missed it, a recent study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that mortality rates for the elderly have decreased every year since the Part D program was implemented in 2006. The study, which was published in the Journal of Health Economics, compared trend differences in mortality rates between people age 66 who had been eligible for Medicare Part D for at least one year to people age 64 who were not yet eligible for the program.

According to the study’s results, there was a 2.2 percent annual decrease in mortality rates among the 66-year-olds compared to the 64-year-olds. This decrease, according to the study, was primarily driven by a decrease in cardiovascular mortality. Additionally, the study found the social value of the mortality reduction to be $5 billion each year.

This study builds on research from The American Journal of Managed Care which found that since the implementation of Part D, nearly 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries have lived at least one year longer, with an average increase of 3.3 years.

Today, the Part D program is helping more than 40 million seniors live longer, healthier lives. Learn more about how Medicare Part D controls costs, improves health and saves lives here.

Topics: Part D, Medicare, Medicare Monday