Consumers satisfied with health plans

March 1, 2000

Pharmaceutical Representative

Healthcare intelligence and Internet content provider Caredata.com, Atlanta, GA, has released the results of their 1999 Commercial Health Plan Survey. The survey reveals that consumer satisfaction with prescription drug plans is higher than satisfaction with overall health plans among the commercial managed care plan members surveyed.

Healthcare intelligence and Internet content provider Caredata.com, Atlanta, GA, has released the results of their 1999 Commercial Health Plan Survey. The survey reveals that consumer satisfaction with prescription drug plans is higher than satisfaction with overall health plans among the commercial managed care plan members surveyed.

Fifty-four percent of the more than 24,000 managed care members surveyed said they were highly satisfied with their health plan, compared to 63% who were highly satisfied with their prescription drug plan. Aspects of pharmacy benefits with which plan members were most satisfied include the "ability to get the best medication" and "convenience of getting refills." Less highly rated was "the amount paid for a prescription (co-pay)."

"The survey results reinforce the continued importance of pharmacy benefits to managed care health plans," said Tony Morgan, vice president of Caredata.com's Consumer Research Group. "Fifty percent of survey participants who have a choice of plans cited prescription drug coverage as one of the top three reasons for selecting a health plan. Satisfaction with the prescription drug plan is often a key driver of overall satisfaction with health plans and their ability to retain members."

The survey also found, however, that overall ratings of pharmacy benefits in managed care have fallen four percentage points in two years, from 67% highly satisfied in 1997 to 63% in 1999.

Two findings from the survey help explain this decline, according to Morgan. "First, in just one year, the number of members paying more than $5 for a generic drug went from 31% to 40%," he said. "Looking at branded medications, those paying more for a prescription rose from 13% in 1998 to 31% in 1999. The fact that the cost and availability of medications are major issues in healthcare today is nothing new, but the speed of change and the force of its impact on consumers is striking." PR

Related Content:

News