Dissatisfied with Medicare Part D

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: A lot of seniors have signed up for the new Medicare Drug Benefit Program, but many still haven't. And quite a few who are on the plan aren't happy about it. Helen Palmer has more from the Health Desk at WGBH in Boston.


HELEN PALMER: More than two million eligible seniors have not signed on to the new program. Many are widows, women who never married or seniors with little education.

Study author Daniel McFadden says this group mostly pays for medications out of pocket and would benefit if they enrolled.

DANIEL McFADDEN: They would get more back per month in benefits than they would pay in premiums.

McFadden also surveyed enrolled seniors about their attitudes to program. He says about 70% of them say they're dissatisfied with Medicare and the government as a whole.

McFADDEN: It's sort of distressing news for its architects. After all it's a huge entitlement program for seniors you'd think they'd be wildly enthusiastic. So far they're not.

The drug benefit is projected to cost the government $724 billion over 10 years.

In Boston, I'm Helen Palmer for Marketplace.

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