Michael Freeman sent me this press release about a recent survey of people with Medicare prescription drug benefits.   Medicare’s Part D prescription drug coverage program is maintaining its exceptionally high popularity among the nation’s older Americans, with a new survey showing that 88 percent of beneficiaries are satisfied with the program and 95 percent saying they have greater peace of mind as a result of Part D coverage.

The survey of 992 Medicare beneficiaries, of which 403 have Medicare Part D coverage, was conducted by KRC Research. It was commissioned by the Medicare Today coalition, an alliance of more than 400 national and local organizations committed to providing seniors and near-retirees with reliable information on Medicare benefits and program changes.

“Medicare Part D has reached popularity levels that you seldom, if ever, see from a government program,” said Mary R. Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council and co-chair of Medicare Today. “Over the last five years of satisfaction surveys, Part D has stayed consistently above an 80 percent approval rating. And given the fact that competition is keeping the program affordable – and that average premiums won’t increase in 2012 – satisfaction should stay very high.”

Among the key findings from beneficiaries with Medicare Part D plans:

• 95 percent say their current Part D plan works well, with 94% saying it is easy to use.

• 82 percent say their Part D plan offers good value. Beyond that, 67 percent saying they have lowered their prescription drug spending. That’s an eight percentage point increase since 2006. Also, 34 percent say they used to skip or reduce their prescription medicine doses to save money, but now no longer have to do so.

• Part D popularity transcends partisan political lines. Among self-identified Democrats, 91 percent are satisfied with their Part D coverage, compared to 89 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of independents.

• The high satisfaction rate is reflected in the number of beneficiaries who say they will likely shop and compare competing Medicare Part D plans during the open enrollment period. Two of every three seniors said they are unlikely to shop around.

More information on the Medicare Part D satisfaction survey can be found at www.medicaretoday.org.

About the Survey: KRC Research conducted a random-digit-dial landline telephone survey of 992 seniors 65 years and older who are enrolled in Medicare. Of those, KRC interviewed a total of 403 seniors with Medicare Rx plans, half with stand-alone plans and half with Medicare Advantage plans. The margin of error for a sample size of 403 beneficiaries with Medicare Part D is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

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