Sinking, swimming, or learning to swim in Medicare Part D

Jonathan D. Ketcham, Claudio Lucarelli, Eugenio J. Miravete, M. Christopher Roebuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Under Medicare Part D, senior citizens choose prescription drug insurance offered by numerous private insurers. We examine nonpoor enrollees' actions in 2006 and 2007 using panel data. Our sample reduced overspending by $298 on average, with gains by 81 percent of them. The greatest improvements were by those who overspent most in 2006 and by those who switched plans. Decisions to switch depended on individuals' overspending in 2006 and on individualspecific effects of changes in their current plans. The oldest consumers and those initiating medications for Alzheimer's disease improved by more than average, suggesting that real-world institutions help overcome cognitive limitations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2639-2673
Number of pages35
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012

Cite this