Rural-Urban Enrollment in Part D Prescription Drug Plans: June 2017 Update


Rural enrollment in the Medicare Part D program has historically lagged urban enrollment. As of June 2017, the percentage of rural enrollment in Part D plans (69.8 percent), which include stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans, lags urban enrollment (73.0 percent). This lag is in spite of significant growth in the overall percentage of Medicare beneficiaries with prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D plans (72.5 percent in 2017 vs. 55.6 percent in 2008). Rural enrollees continue to have much higher enrollment in stand-alone PDPs than do urban enrollees, though rural participation in MA-PD plans has almost doubled since December 2008.

RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
Paula Weigel, Fred Ullrich, Keith Mueller