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Ayse Akincigil and Karen Zurlo Awarded Grant on Medical Expenditure Burden under Medicare’s Part D Program

Professors Ayse Akincigil (PI) and Karen Zurlo (Co-PI) received a grant from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College under the Steven H Sandell Grant Program for their research on “The Economic Burden of Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenditures Before and After the Implementation of the Medicare Prescription Drug Program.” Using nationally representative data from the Medicare Current Beneficiaries Survey (MCBS), they will analyze if Part D implementation was associated with reduced inequalities in medical expenditure burden. The data will include years 2001 to 2010 making possible the capture of both the immediate and long-term impact of the policy change and provide ample statistical power to conduct subgroup analyses to understand trends among those most vulnerable to financial strain. Debates over the sustainability of Medicare have been a constant feature of American political life. Shifting costs back to beneficiaries will continue to be a major policy proposal to achieve sustainability. Their research will describe the size and the distribution of the cost burden that is necessary to evaluate the effects of potential policy changes. The Steven H. Sandell Grant Program is funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration and is awarded to scholars pursuing cutting-edge projects on retirement income and disability insurance issues.

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