New CVS Caremark research has found that 78 percent of consumers who would be eligible for new health care coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have never heard of the state-based health care exchanges where they will have to shop for coverage beginning in 2014. In addition, 60 percent of respondents said they believe they will need help in understanding health care insurance terms and descriptions and navigating the complex health care system.
“Despite all the news coverage about health care reform, these survey results clearly show that consumers are confused about the potential changes to our health care system,” said Helena Foulkes, CVS Caremark executive vice president and chief health care strategy and marketing officer. “While awareness of the new law may grow over the next year as new services are put in place, consumers need help understanding the coming changes and support on how to sign up and participate in the exchanges.”
In addition, the respondents listed doctors as the most credible source for talking about exchanges, followed by pharmacists, nurse practitioners and independent insurance consultants.
“CVS Caremark’s tremendous geographic reach across the U.S., our integrated approach to health care and the accessibility of our pharmacists and nurse practitioners – among the most trusted of advisors according to this survey – give us a variety of effective touch points with health care consumers,” Foulkes said. “Given our focus on helping people on the path to better health, we expect to play an active role in meeting consumers’ needs in an expanding health care system and will be talking with government, health care advocates and other organizations to see how we can be an active participant in providing information and services to these consumers.”