Despite extensive use of prescriptionmedications in ESRD, relatively little is known about the participation of Medicare ESRD beneficiaries in the Part D program. Here, we quantitated the sources of drug coverage among ESRD beneficiaries and explored the Part D plan preferences of ESRD beneficiaries with regard to deductibles, coverage gaps, and monthly premiums. We obtained data on beneficiary sources of creditable coverage, characteristics of Part D plans, demographics, and residence from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Chronic Condition Data Warehouse and identified beneficiaries with ESRD from the US Renal Data System. We found that a substantial proportion (17.0%) of ESRD beneficiaries lacked a known source of creditable drug coverage in 2007 and 64.3% were enrolled in Part D. Of those enrolled, 72% received the Medicare Part D low-income subsidy. ESRD beneficiaries who enrolled in stand alone Part D plans without the assistance of the low-income subsidy tended to prefer more comprehensive coverage options. In conclusion, more outreach is needed to ensure that beneficiaries who lack coverage obtain the coverage they need and that ESRD beneficiaries join the best plans for managing their disease and accompanying comorbid conditions.
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