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Experiences with Medicare Part D Among Enrollees and Non-Enrollees

With the November 2006 enrollment period for Medicare Part D approaching, this September-October AARP mail survey asked 3,602 enrollees and non-enrollees about their awareness and understanding of the Prescription Drug Plan, their experiences when enrolling and having prescriptions filled, and their suggestions for changes to the program. It found that awareness of and satisfaction with the plan are relatively high, but understanding of it is somewhat lower.

Of those surveyed...

  • 87 percent have read, seen or heard something about Medicare's Prescription Drug Plan
  • 24 percent say they understand it “extremely” or “very well”
  • 38 percent admit they understand it “not very well” or “not well at all”

Among the 44 percent of respondents enrolled in the Medicare drug plan...

  • 64 percent feel “extremely” or “very satisfied”
  • 69 percent believe they made a good choice
  • 83 percent are not “very likely” or “not at all likely” to switch plans during the approaching enrollment period

While most reported experiencing little difficulty with the enrollment process, the survey respondents indicated their desire for the plan to...

  • have clearer information on how the program works and what drugs are covered
  • simplify the drug benefit
  • reduce or eliminate the coverage gap

This mail survey of 3,602 age 65+ enrollees and non-enrollees in the MedicarePart D Prescription Drug Plan was conducted for AARP during September and October 2006 by TNS-NFO of Atlanta, GA. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting Dr. Keenan, the report's author, at 202-434-6274. (52 pages)

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