WOONSOCKET, R.I., (July 25, 2013) — As states prepare their health insurance exchanges for open enrollment beginning October 1, a new survey from CVS Caremark shows that while there has been an overall increase in awareness of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many of those eligible to enroll in health exchanges are asking for help.
The survey results, based on a sample of over 1,000 respondents, found general awareness of the ACA has increased to 74 percent, up from 57 percent as seen in a similar 2011 CVS Caremark survey. But the new survey found that 36 percent of respondents who are likely to enroll in health exchanges need more information and help in evaluating the insurance exchange process. What’s more, perceptions about cost remain the biggest barrier to the likelihood of enrolling — and lack of knowledge could prove costly: Only 48 percent of those who are eligible for a subsidy believe that they are.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to help Americans understand the new health care law and how it affects them so consumers receive the coverage that best fits their families,” said Helena Foulkes, Executive Vice President and Chief Health Care Strategy and Marketing Officer of CVS Caremark.
The CVS Caremark survey also found that pharmacies will be a primary resource to meet the needs of uninsured Americans, with 68 percent of those surveyed expecting retail pharmacies to offer health insurance information in-store and/or online. Among those asking for help, Hispanics newer to the country and the youngest group surveyed (aged 18-35) were significantly more likely to say they need help understanding the exchanges.
In an effort to fill the information gap, CVS Caremark will roll out a company-wide information and outreach program to help customers gain access to critical health insurance marketplace information, including retail events and brochure displays at its more than 7,400 retail stores and 650 MinuteClinic locations. Information will also be available online at www.cvs.com/insurance.
“Even among the 50 million Americans who were uninsured in the last year, most filled at least one prescription,” said Foulkes. “Pharmacies hold the key to educating the public about their health care options and helping them on their path to better health.”
Findings are from an online survey of 1,078 adults ages 18 and older conducted by The Research Intelligence Group on behalf of CVS Caremark during May 2013.