Rural-Urban Differences in Satisfaction with Medicare Part D: Implications for Policy

Carrie Henning-Smith, Heidi O’Connor, Michelle Casey, Ira Moscovice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Rural residents are more likely to be enrolled in traditional fee-for-service Part D Medicare prescription drug plans, and they face particular challenges in accessing pharmaceutical care. This study examines rural/urban differences in satisfaction with Medicare Part D coverage. Using data from the 2012 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (N = 3,107 beneficiaries aged 65 and older), we find that rural residents have significantly lower satisfaction with Part D coverage but that regional variation in satisfaction is largely explained by differences in health services use and type of Part D plan (stand-alone versus Medicare Advantage). We conclude by suggesting a multifaceted approach to improving satisfaction with Part D for rural residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-80
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under PHS Grant No. 5U1CRH03717. The information, conclusions, and opinions expressed in this policy brief are those of the authors and no endorsement by FORHP, HRSA, or HHS is intended or should be inferred.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.


  • Medicare
  • Part D
  • rural/urban
  • satisfaction


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