Working Papers

2015-04 | September 2015


Does Medicare Part D Save Lives?


We examine the impact of Medicare Part D on mortality for the population over the age of 65. We identify the effects of the reform using variation in drug coverage across counties before the reform was implemented. Studying mortality rates immediately before and after the reform, we find that cardiovascular-related mortality drops significantly in those counties most affected by Part D. Estimates suggest that up to 26,000 more individuals were alive in mid-2007 because of the Part D implementation in 2006.

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Article Citation

Dunn, Abe, and Adam Hale Shapiro. 2015. "Does Medicare Part D Save Lives?," Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2015-04. Available at