December 5, 2011
Ayres, McHenry & Associates conducted a national telephone survey of 800 adults with prescription drug coverage on their views of their current prescription drug plan. The results show high levels of satisfaction with their current coverage, including the variety of drugs covered and the number of drug stores covered. A majority of these covered adults says holding costs down is the most important objective, and just one in eight insured would be willing to pay higher costs to expand their drug store network. More than two-thirds of insured adults say plans should focus on cutting costs, even if drug stores make less money.
Highlights from the survey:
- Insured adults are overwhelmingly satisfied with their current prescription drug coverage, including covered drugs and access to stores. These adults are satisfied with their coverage by an 89 to 8 percent margin, saying they have access to a wide variety of drugs by an 83 to 8 percent margin and have access to a wide variety of drug stores by an 87 to 8 percent margin. Medicare enrollees with prescription drug benefits are satisfied by an 87 to 9 percent margin.
- Cost savings trump wider drug store and prescription drug access. Asked which objective is most important for their prescription drug plan, 56 percent say “holding down premiums and other out-of-pocket costs,” 18 percent say “access to every brand-name prescription drug,” and 17 percent say “access to every drug store in [their] area.”
- More than four-fifths of insured adults are unwilling to pay higher premiums to gain access to more drug stores. Just 12 percent of these respondents would be willing to pay a higher premium if their drug plan added more drug stores to its network, while 84 percent would not be willing to pay more.
- Respondents who have tried mail service delivery of prescription drugs for ongoing conditions are satisfied with the service by more than a six-to-one margin. Among the 31 percent of insured adults who have tried mail service delivery, 89 percent are satisfied with the service and 10 percent are dissatisfied.
- More than two-thirds of insured adults want drug plans to reduce costs for consumers. Those polled agree that “prescription drug plans should try to reduce prescription drug costs for consumers as much as possible, even if it means drug stores make less money,” rather than “prescription drug plans should protect drug stores’ ability to make money, even if it raises prescription drug costs, because they are a vital business in many communities,” by a 70 to 19 percent margin.