Medicare turns 55, and now’s the time to look at Part D – did it work?

July 31, 2020

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law legislation that established the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  The Part D prescription drug benefit was implemented in 2006, providing affordable prescription drug coverage to seniors and individuals living with disabilities.  You might be surprised to learn that the unique, market-based structure of the program helped to promote private-sector competition and keep overall program costs far below initial projections, coming in at nearly $350 billion less than the Congressional Budget Office’s initial 10-year estimate.

Some more Part D facts:

  • 45 million American enrollees
  • 900 stand-alone prescription drug plans from which to choose
  • 3.3 year increase in life expectancy for Medicare beneficiaries since the implementation of Part D benefit
  • $39.63 weighted average monthly premium, and premiums have been consistently stable

PhRMA will continue to share insights on Medicare Part D, and you can follow real-time updates here:

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