The Financial Burden of Prescription Drug Use Among Elderly Persons

Published In: The Gerontologist, v. 37, no. 4, Aug. 1997, p. 475-482

Posted on RAND.org on July 31, 1997

by Jeannette Rogowski, Lee A. Lillard, Raynard Kington

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Expenditures for prescription drugs are not covered by Medicare and are thus a potential source of large out-of-pocket expenditures for elderly persons. This study, using a new data source, the 1990 Elderly Health Supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), demonstrates that, among elderly persons, insurance coverage for drugs reduces the fraction of household income spent on prescription drugs by 50 percent. Groups most likely to benefit from insurance coverage are elderly women and those with common chronic conditions, low incomes, and rural residences.

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