A survey by CVS Caremark Corp. found that 78% of consumers eligible for new health care coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have never heard of the state health insurance exchanges where they will have to shop for coverage starting in 2014.


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CVS consumer poll: What's an insurance exchange?

June 1st, 2012

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – A survey by CVS Caremark Corp. found that 78% of consumers eligible for new health care coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have never heard of the state health insurance exchanges where they will have to shop for coverage starting in 2014.

The company said Friday that its research, which polled over 1,000 consumers, revealed that 60% of respondents think they will need help in understanding health 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," Helena Foulkes, executive vice president and chief health care strategy and marketing officer at CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "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."

Consumers polled cited doctors as the most credible source for discussing the health insurance 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. "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."

Of consumers surveyed in the online study, 70% had no health care coverage and 30% were covered by individual insurance policies. The survey didn't include people with employer-sponsored insurance or those covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

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