New Cost Estimates For A Medicare Drug Benefit
Dennis G. Shea, Professor of Health Policy and Administration
As the debate over a Medicare drug benefit intensifies, there is a greater need than ever for accurate and up to date cost estimates for various policy options that Congress might address. As a part of a previous Commonwealth Fund grant, "Addressing the Costs of Prescription Drugs for Medicare Beneficiaries", my colleagues and I developed a cost simulation model to estimate government expenditures and out-of-pocket costs associated with various cost-sharing mechanisms and premium subsidy policies contained in major Congressional proposals for a Medicare drug benefit. This small grant provided the resources for us to update the cost estimates to 2002 and a report which followed the reviewer comments for release by the Commonwealth Fund.