Medicare Part D: Early Findings on Enrollment and Choices for Rural Beneficiaries


Provides a first snapshot of enrollment in Medicare Part D in rural and urban areas across the United States and outlines the early findings from an analysis of plans available to rural persons under this program. These early findings show mixed results for the Medicare prescription drug plan (PDP) in rural areas, with enrollment in the Medicare stand-alone PDP higher in rural areas (21%) than in urban areas (13%). However, this is balanced by low enrollment in MA-PD plans in rural areas, which offer relatively less generous plan choices to rural persons. Additionally, enrollment in employer and federal plans is lower in rural areas (20%) than in urban areas (24%). Finally, the relatively high enrollment in Part D in rural areas reflects the high enrollment of Medicaid dual eligibles also covered by Medicare, who were not enrolled in Part D voluntarily.

RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
Timothy McBride, Tanchica Terry, Keith Mueller