Survey says: Seniors satisfied with Medicare Rx benefit

November 7, 2007

Seniors are satisfied with Medicare Part D drug benefit.

Seniors are satisfied with the Medicare Rx drug benefit, according to a telephone survey conducted in October by Voter Consumer Research Inc. and commissioned by the Medicare Rx Education Network. At a recent press briefing to announce results of the survey, Sandra Tirey, VP, Voter Consumer Research, said that overall satisfaction with the benefit continues to be high (83%), with 52% of respondents saying they are "very" satisfied. In addition, 93% of respondents report being satisfied with getting the medicines they need and 79% are satisfied with their overall prescription drug costs through Part D. The survey was conducted among 1,001 seniors over 65 who said they have some kind of drug coverage. The margin of error was 3.1%. Almost a third of the sample (313 respondents) consisted of people who were self-identified as having Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage. They were described in the survey as having Medicare Rx. "Most people on the Medicare Rx program say it is working for them, and these are people who are taking six or more prescriptions," said Tirey. "They are heavy users of the program."

The survey also pointed to some areas where awareness about the benefit could be improved. While more than 71% of those enrolled in Part D are aware of additional help available to them, 27% of those surveyed were unaware of programs through Medicare and Social Security that can assist low-income seniors in paying for Part D prescriptions. To view the survey results, go to www.Medicare.gov. A new Medicare handbook is being mailed out to seniors. "On Nov. 15, we will have information available for people to compare plans," Kuhn said. "For example, customer service ratings and a lot of information will be posted for the first time."

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