Economics ETDs

Publication Date



In 2006, the implementation of Medicare Part D offered seniors the benefit of government subsidized prescription drug coverage. The baby boomer generation is expected to retire at a rate of 10,000 per day for the next nineteen years. Research into health care and prescription drug coverage for this aging population is becoming relevant due to a increasing proportion of the population. Understanding the characteristics of individuals who reach the Medicare Part D coverage gap will assist in possible outreach, education, and future enrollment strategies. Identifying populations at risk of reaching the coverage gap can help focus interventions to address issues of access to medication among seniors. This research project considers the previous literature published on beneficiaries who reached the aforementioned coverage gap where beneficiaries pay one hundred percent of prescription costs and applies it to a larger, more comprehensive data set. First, I identify characteristics of Part D individuals that influence the outcome of reaching the coverage gap. Then, I assess the effect a coverage gap has on drug adherence by analyzing out of pocket expenditures.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Economics

First Committee Member (Chair)

Fontenla, Matias

Second Committee Member

Moffett, Maurice

Third Committee Member

Blume-Kohout, Margaret




Medicare Part D, Economics, Health Economics, Prescription drug coverage, Doughnut hole

Document Type