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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Harvard: Seriously Ill Medicare Beneficiaries Can Face Considerable Financial Hardship

Despite high beneficiary satisfaction with Medicare overall, a new national survey led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Business School, and colleagues finds that its coverage gaps may cause considerable financial distress for the most seriously ill patients. About half reported a significant problem paying medical bills, with prescription drugs posing the most hardship.

This paper is part of a larger study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the New York Times, and the Commonwealth Fund. It will be published today in the November issue of Health Affairs.

“What stands out here are the extensive financial problems many seriously ill Medicare beneficiaries face paying for their prescription drugs today,” said principal investigator and co-author Dr. Robert Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health and Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at Harvard Chan School and director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program.

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