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Finance and Economics Discussion Series
Finance and Economics Discussion Series logo links to FEDS home page The Value Of Medicare Managed Care Plans and Their Prescription Drug Benefits
Anne E. Hall

Abstract: I estimate the welfare, both gross and net, provided by the Medicare managed care program in 1999 through 2002. First, I estimate a model of demand for the benefits offered by managed care plans to Medicare beneficiaries. I then use the demand estimates to form estimates of welfare provided by the program. Medicare beneficiaries derived $14.9 billion of gross welfare per year from the Medicare HMO program. Depending on the amount of selection in the program, the Medicare managed care program provided from -$10.3 billion to $35.1 billion of net welfare total over the four-year period. I also estimate the welfare that beneficiaries receive from the prescription drug benefits offered by Medicare HMOs. HMO enrollees in plans offering drugs received on average $13 of consumer surplus per month from the drug benefits in 1999, and this estimate drops to $10 by 2002.

Keywords: Medicare, demand analysis, prescription drug, health insurance

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Last update: May 4, 2007