Issue Brief 6: “Seasonality” of Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries

Access to medically necessary healthcare is critical for successful patient outcomes, yet access is often impeded or blocked entirely by cost sharing in the form of high deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance.

Despite its value as a tool to limit discretionary healthcare spending, excessive cost sharing often creates insurmountable barriers between patients and medications, diagnostic tests, office visits, surgery and other needed services.

There is significant concern that cost sharing limits access to medically necessary and appropriate treatment for seriously ill and economically vulnerable patients.