(Washington, DC)— Medicare Part D seniors in plans with preferred pharmacy networks are overwhelmingly satisfied, citing lower costs, convenient access to pharmacies and other benefits, according to a new survey from Hart Research Associates released today by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA). More than 40% of Part D seniors (9.5 million) are currently enrolled in plans with preferred networks.
“Seniors like the lower costs, pharmacy choices, and overall value of plans with preferred pharmacy networks,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. “Furthermore, 80% of those in preferred pharmacy plans—which translates to over 7 million seniors— would be very upset if their plan was no longer available in the future.”
“Our survey results clearly show that seniors see Medicare Part D preferred networks as a ‘win-win,’ because they offer good value without sacrificing access to convenient pharmacies,” said Geoffrey Garin, President of Hart Research Associates.
While preferred physician and hospital networks have long been used to reduce costs, there is a growing understanding of the cost-savings potential by using pharmacy networks.
Key findings from the survey of seniors about their Medicare Part D preferred network plan include:
- Four in five seniors (80%) would be disappointed if their preferred network plan is eliminated.
Seniors are overwhelmingly satisfied (85%) with their preferred network plan.
- The cost of premiums (50%) and copays (48%) are the most important considerations for seniors in selecting their preferred pharmacy plan.
- Increased costs is the most common reason seniors would be disappointed if their preferred network plan is eliminated.
- Seniors are very satisfied with the convenience of pharmacies (81%), the number of pharmacies in their network (74%), and the prescription medications available through their plan (75%).
- Cost is the top factor for seniors regardless of income, age, number of medications, and distance from their drugstore.
- Only 8% listed the number of pharmacies in the network as an important consideration.
Hart Research Associates is one of the leading survey research firms in the United States and has been at the cutting edge of change in the field of public opinion for more than three decades. The Hart Research political division has worked with more than 40 United States senators and 30 governors and on more than 400 political campaigns.
A recent study found that Medicaid pharmacy could save $33.4 billion over the next decade by leveraging greater use of pharmacy networks. In most state Medicaid programs every drugstore in the state is entitled to participate.
Currently there are more drugstores in the U.S. than McDonald’s, Burger Kings, Pizza Huts, Wendy’s, Taco Bells, Kentucky Fried Chickens, Domino’s Pizzas, and Dunkin’ Donuts combined, creating a highly competitive environment.