Wrapping up our coverage of the recently released Medicare Part D in 2016 and Trends over Time report from the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University and the Kaiser Family Foundation are findings related to the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program and plan performance ratings.
The report found that nearly 3 in 10 Part D beneficiaries receive financial subsidies through the Low-Income Subsidy program. This number has grown steadily over the past decade, reaching 12 million in 2016. About two thirds of LIS enrollees (roughly 8 million) are enrolled in stand-alone PDPs; others are in standard MA-PD plans, Special Needs Plans (SNPs), Medicare-Medicaid plans participating in financial alignment demonstrations, cost plans, or PACE plans. PDP LIS enrollment has been relatively constant since the program began, but MA-PD plan enrollment has expanded greatly since 2006.
In 2016, MA-PD plans are far more likely than PDP plans to have 4 or more stars out of a possible 5 stars for the rating factors based on their Part D performance. The average PDP plan star rating average has fluctuated in recent years while the MA-PD plan average has been increasing steadily. Both plan types are rated on the same Part D performance factors.