The study recommends that lawmakers:
- Balance an adequate benefit with affordable contributions
- Encourage people to enroll as soon as eligible
- Restrict or avoid later enrollment, which might occur on an as-needed basis
- Make enrollment automatic with the choice being to opt-out, not to opt-in
- Offer catastrophic coverage to attract higher-income beneficiaries
- Deduct premiums from monthly Social Security checks
- Keep the program design simple
- Use pharmacy benefit manager cost-containment techniques to encourage efficient spending on prescription drugs
- Balance individual flexibility in choice of drugs with savings and affordability.
William M Mercer conducted the study. It comprises an actuarial analysis, which applies basic insurance principles to the design of a Medicare prescription drug benefit and makes recommendations to policy makers who are currently searching for the best way to add a voluntary prescription drug benefit to Medicare.