WOONSOCKET, R.I., Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health ( NYSE: CVS) today announced a robust educational effort to increase its customers' understanding of available insurance options during the upcoming Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period of November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. CVS Health is partnering with numerous health insurers offering coverage on the Marketplace to conduct health insurance education events in CVS/pharmacy stores. The outreach campaign will also involve in-store brochure displays and online insurance information and tools at CVS.com/insurance. Additionally, CVS Health is releasing new data that provides an initial look at prescription drug utilization by patients newly insured under the ACA. This data examines the population enrolled and how they are using their health insurance coverage, offering valuable insights for consumers, insurers and other stakeholders as they prepare for this year's open enrollment.
"Connecting our customers with informative and accessible resources about the health insurance options in their community aligns with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health," said Helena Foulkes, President of CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health. "As part of that effort, we are making health insurance experts available at more than 4,600 events in CVS/pharmacy stores across the country to answer customer questions and help them understand if they are eligible for lower insurance costs through the Marketplace."
This year's outreach campaign represents CVS Health's continued commitment to consumer education around the Health Insurance Marketplace, building on the successful outreach conducted during last year's open enrollment period. This year, more than 800 of the over 4,600 education opportunities will be Project Health events, which offer customers free screenings in select CVS/pharmacy stores between November and February 2015. The events will also give customers the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with insurance experts about the options available to them on the Marketplace.
In addition, CVS/pharmacy stores across the country will have free educational brochures, provided by CVS/pharmacy and numerous health plans, on hand for customers, including Spanish language materials in select locations. Online Marketplace insurance information and tools will be available at CVS.com/insurance and in Spanish at CVS.com/seguro. Consumers can find a schedule of in-store Marketplace information events with health plans at CVS.com/MarketplaceEvents.
The CVS Health Research Institute is also releasing new data comparing the population newly insured under the ACA during 2014 to other insured populations based on demographic characteristics and drug utilization. In doing this analysis, researchers looked at aggregate insurance claims from January to September 2014 for plans managed by CVS Health and compared ACA plan members with commercial health plan and managed Medicaid plan members.
Researchers found that although people enrolled in ACA coverage were slightly older than those in the commercial market, with an average age of 42 versus 37, prescription drug utilization was nearly identical, with about one-third of patients in Exchange plans using their insurance to fill prescriptions. The ACA plans' generic dispensing rate was 88 percent, exceeding rates in commercial and managed Medicaid plans, which helps explain why ACA Exchange plans have been less costly than traditional commercial insurance plans.
The data also show that patients newly insured under the ACA were more likely to have HIV and/or Hepatitis C, increasing the proportion of these plan members using specialty medications. And even though the prevalence of specialty medication use was found to be small across all plan types, specialty medications accounted for the largest proportion of total drug costs for all plans at 35.8 percent in ACA plans, 28.3 percent in commercial plans and 30.1 percent in managed Medicaid plans.
"Looking at prescription utilization for patients newly insured under the ACA shows us that these plans are providing critically needed prescription drug coverage to people with complex diseases like cancer and HIV, many of whom may have previously been unable to obtain needed insurance coverage," said William Shrank, M.D., chief scientific officer at CVS Health. "As the second ACA open enrollment period gets underway, there will be continued need for outreach and education to assure that consumers who are still uninsured sign up so that they can get the health care services they need to stay healthy."
About CVS Health
CVS Health ( NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,800 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.
SOURCE CVS Health