Older Americans' Preferences Between Lower Drug Prices and Prescription Drug Plan Choice, 2019

Mariana P. Socal, Gerard F. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives. To assess older Americans' willingness to trade off the possibility of choosing or changing their prescription drug plan for lower drug spending.Methods. We used data from the Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll on prescription drugs carried out in February 2019. This nationwide telephone survey oversampled participants aged 65 years and older who, when weighted, were representative of the US older adult population.Results. Older adults were strongly in favor of the government negotiating drug prices in Medicare Part D (82% support); 60% of older adults would trade off the possibility of choosing or switching their drug plan in favor of lower drug prices. All groups preferred lower spending over plan choice, but this preference was stronger among individuals who were in poorer health, had lower education and income, and found it very difficult to afford the drugs they needed.Conclusions. The results suggest that Medicare beneficiaries could support policies that limit plan choice, as long as drug prices actually decrease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-356
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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