Differences in Part D Plans Offered to Rural and Urban Medicare Beneficiaries


This brief analyzes how the plan options available to rural and urban beneficiaries differ in terms of premiums, deductibles, and copayments, as well as differences in plan options within rural areas.

Key Findings:

  • Standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) available to beneficiaries varied little in premiums, copays, deductibles, the availability of enhanced plans, and gap coverage across urban and rural areas.
  • The average deductible and average premium for available MA-PDPs varied significantly among the three geographic areas. Urban areas had the lowest costs, followed by more-densely populated and less-densely populated rural areas.
University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Heidi O'Connor, Carrie Henning-Smith, Michelle Casey, Ira Moscovice