In addition to the basic benefits provided under Medicare, most beneficiaries have some source of supplemental coverage, such as employer plans or Medigap, to help pay cost-sharing requirements and pay for some services that are not covered by the program. In addition, a majority of beneficiaries have prescription drug coverage from various sources, including Medicare Part D plans that became available in 2006. Sources of supplemental coverage and drug coverage vary widely by income, race/ethnicity, urban/rural area, health status, and other characteristics.
This chartpack presents new information on the sources of supplemental and prescription drug coverage among Medicare beneficiaries in 2007, the most recent year for which national data are available. It provides a detailed look at the characteristics of beneficiaries with various sources of drug coverage in the second year of the Medicare Part D drug benefit. The chartpack also examines prescription drug coverage and low-income drug subsidy status among beneficiaries with low incomes.
The chartpack is organized in three sections:
-Section 1—Supplemental Coverage. This section examines the share of Medicare beneficiaries relying on various sources of supplemental coverage in 2007, and the characteristics of beneficiaries with different types of supplemental coverage.
-Section 2—Prescription Drug Coverage. This section describes the primary sources of prescription drug coverage among Medicare beneficiaries in 2007, and which groups of beneficiaries were more likely than others to lack drug coverage.
-Section 3—Prescription Drug Coverage and Subsidies Among Low-Income Beneficiaries. This section examines sources of drug coverage in 2007 among low-income beneficiaries (defined as beneficiaries having annual income of $15,000 or less for individuals/$20,000 or less for couples), their enrollment in the Part D low-income subsidy (LIS) program, and sources of drug coverage for low-income beneficiaries who were not receiving low income subsidy assistance. This section also identifies characteristics of those individuals who were—and were not—receiving LIS in 2007, which could be helpful in guiding future LIS outreach efforts to certain target populations.
This chartpack is based on Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) Access to Care file, 2007. The Access to Care file contains demographic and health insurance data for a nationally representative sample of 15,806 Medicare beneficiaries, along with information on health and functional status, access to care, and satisfaction with care. More information about the MCBS Access to Care file and methods used in analyzing the data is provided in the Appendix. (author abstract)