Understanding the Medicare Part D Prescription Program: Partnerships for Beneficiaries and Health Care Professionals

Mary Lou De Natale, University of San Francisco


The Medicare Part D prescription coverage plan became available to qualified beneficiaries under Medicare on January 1, 2006. The plans provided by private insurers and state programs have challenged Medicare beneficiaries in their understanding of enrollment issues, availability of medications at an affordable cost, and use of community resources for consultation regarding prescription coverage. A total of 72 beneficiaries were interviewed during their attendance at one of six senior centers during the months of September to December 2006. Each beneficiary noted that financial cost was a priority in his or her choice of prescription coverage. Results of this qualitative research study provide guidance to health care professionals planning instruction or providing informational assistance to beneficiaries and/or families.