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Rural-Urban Differences in Satisfaction with Medicare Part D: Implications for Policy

Henning-Smith, C., O'Connor, H., Casey, M., Moscovice, I.

Aging & Social Policy
DOI:10.1080/08959420.2016.1139421

Rural residents are more likely to be enrolled in traditional fee-for-service Part D Medicare prescription drug plans and they face particular challenges in accessing pharmaceutical care. This study examines rural/urban differences in satisfaction with Medicare Part D coverage. Using data from the 2012 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (n = 3,107 beneficiaries age 65 and older), we find that rural residents have significantly lower satisfaction with Part D coverage, but that regional variation in satisfaction is largely explained by differences in health services use and type of Part D plan (stand-alone v. Medicare Advantage). We conclude by suggesting a multi-faceted approach to improving satisfaction with Part D for rural residents.

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