The good news is that more seniors have heard about the new Medicare drug program, but the bad news may be that the seniors who are buying coverage are poorer and sicker.
Researchers at DSS Research Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, have published those conclusions in a report on results of a survey of U.S. seniors conducted in mid-December. The firm conducted a similar survey in September.
Awareness of the new Medicare Part D drug program increased dramatically between September and December, and 97% of the participants in the second survey could remember seeing Part D advertising, compared with 80% in September.
Perhaps more important, at least 68% of participants answered at least 5 of 6 Part D literacy questions accurately in December, up from 23% in September.
But the firm found that only 24% of December survey participants said they had chosen a Part D plan, 23% hope to buy Part D coverage later, and 53% said they had no plans to participate in the program.