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Lonhala Magnair

Medicare Part D Coverage Gap Reduces Antidepressant Use in the Elderly

The Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit includes a $265 deductible, an insured period during which the beneficiary pays 25%of drug costs from $265 to $2,400, and a coverage gap when the beneficiary pays 100 percent of drug costs until reaching the catastrophic limit of $3,850; then they pay 5%.

A new study found elderly Medicare patients with depression enrolled in stand-alone Part D plans in 2007 reduced their use of antidepressants during the Medicare Part D coverage gap.

In fact, a full gap in drug coverage resulted in a 12.1% reduction in antidepressant use, particularly for brand-name drugs.

For more info, see Zhang, Y. et al. (2012). Effects of Medicare Part D coverage gap on medication and medical treatment among elderly beneficiaries with depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69(7), 672-679.

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