Issue Brief 12: Modernizing the Structure of Medicare Part D

Although Medicare Part D has facilitated access to prescription medications for millions of seniors, its outdated benefit design leaves increasing numbers of beneficiaries with limited access to the medications they need because of high out-of-pocket drug costs.

This Issue Brief describes the history of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit and its limitations. Policy solutions to modernize this important insurance program are highlighted, including:

  • Placing a cap on annual OOP costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.
  • “Smoothing out” high upfront OOP drug costs more evenly throughout the year.
  • Expanding access to the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy program.
The PAN Foundation advocates for changes to the Medicare Part D program that reflect the current prescription drug landscape and improve access to medications for all Medicare Part D beneficiaries.