Is There a Spillover Effect of Medicare Part D on the Use of Preventive Health Measures? (Job Market Paper)
Medicare Part D was introduced in 2006 to increase access to prescription drug coverage for seniors in the US. Many studies have assessed the direct impact of Part D on prescription drug use, medical spending, and health outcomes, yet none have evaluated the effects of Part D on the use of seemingly-unrelated services such as preventive health measures. In this paper, I use data from the Health and Retirement Survey to estimate the spillover effect of Part D on the use of preventive services such as flu shots and mammograms. Using a Difference-in-Differences approach, I find that access to Part D leads to a 2.3 percentage point increase in the probability of getting a flu shot. I also show that having prescription drug coverage due to Part D increases the probability of getting a flu shot and the probability of getting a blood test for cholesterol by 18.5 percentage points and 12.3 percentage points, respectively.