The survey also examined Americans' attitudes toward prescription-drug plan preferences, revealing that consumers are amenable to their pharmacy coverage mirroring the medical benefit when it comes to deductibles.The majority of those surveyed and particularly the long-term uninsured are willing to pay a $100 deductible for prescription drugs; while deductibles are common for medical insurance, they are not commonplace within drug benefit plans. The poll also found that many consumers are open to an in-network and out-of-network pharmacy system similar to the network-based approach used in medical care that would require higher copayments for medications purchased at pharmacies that are not part of the plan's preferred network. "The pharmacy benefit is the most frequently used healthcare benefit, so it is important to understand consumer preferences. This survey shows a definite shift in consumers' mindset around their prescription-drug benefit," Huppert said. "No matter what their current insurance status, most people surveyed appear willing to accept a drug plan that utilizes cost-saving strategies that are commonplace within medical insurance. This type of information may assist health plans, which will be competing in the public exchanges, in developing their pharmacy benefit strategy heading into 2014." Additional insights include:
- The long-term uninsured (more than one year) displayed more price sensitivity to plan premiums than drug copayments and showed a willingness to accept a plan with more restrictions than those currently insured.
- As subsidies neutralize premiums, factors such as pharmacy network, formulary and copayment amounts can influence plan choice more heavily.