CVS Caremark planning a big push to promote Obamacare

CVS_ACA_survey_July_2013CVS Caremark, Rhode Island’s biggest private company and largest for-profit employer, is going all-in on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act ahead of its Oct. 1 launch.

CVS officials have revealed plans to “roll out a company-wide information and outreach program” at its 7,400 retail stores and 650 MinuteClinics nationwide to help Americans understand the new benefits that will become available when insurance exchanges such as HealthSource RI begin enrollment this fall.

The effort by CVS will include retail events, brochure displays and a new website, A survey commissioned by CVS that found less than half of those eligible for the health law’s new insurance subsidies are aware that they are.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to help Americans understand the new health care law and how it affects them so consumers receive the coverage that best fits their families,” CVS Executive Vice President Helena Foulkes said in a statement.

“The beauty of the CVS environment is that people are in our stores several times a month,” Foulkes told The Washington Post. “Maybe I come into the store and I notice one of the pamphlets and take one home. The pharmacist might say, ‘I noticed you paid cash. Do you want to think about insurance?’ The next time, I see a navigator and have a more lengthy conversation.”

One thing you probably won’t hear CVS say: “Obamacare.”

With Republicans and conservative groups preparing to push Americans not to participate in the law’s new insurance marketplaces, Foulkes told Politico CVS could experience some blow-back for backing the Obama administration. She said the company will try to avoid that by focusing on the law’s benefits to consumers and by using the state exchanges’ local names, like HealthSource RI and Covered California.

The decision to promote the health law isn’t a big surprise; as a CVS executive declared in 2009, “Anything that increases coverage will be good for our company’s business.” Walgreen’s and The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association have already announced their own plans to publicize the law.

CVS stock closed at $61.96 a share in New York Stock Exchange trading Friday, up from $45.33 a year ago, after the company reported robust first-quarter profits in May.

(graphic: CVS Caremark)

5 thoughts on “CVS Caremark planning a big push to promote Obamacare

  1. Guess I will take my business to another pharmacy. I have yet to see anyone post on the good of this legislation that was passed. Oh wait, I forgot….YOU HAVE TO BUY IT and then get sick to see if it covers anything and then figure out how broke you are going to be afterward. Affordable healthcare my a%&! And the country just stands by and does nothing but let this garbage pass.

  2. I work there.. and i have always been so heavily against this joke of an insurance.. and now they expectg me to promote it? God help the Obamacare guys when they get in my store i will be fired so fast.. this sickens me.

  3. I agree with hoff that “I have yet to see anyone post on the good of this legislation that was passed” Well guess what pal your about to.

    I am going to presume that your healthcare is completely paid for because you say that other will you have to buy it….guess that knocks you out of the conversation. Now lets take what John said…”I work there” gee I know for a fact that CVS offers healthcare to their employees.

    Now how would you like it if the ONLY way you could get nonemployer covered insurance is though BCBSRI and you have to pay $633.00 a month out of pocket for a plan that has a $4000.00/8000.00 deductible per year. Would you not welcome an opportunity to possibly lower your out of pocket expense.

    That is what Obamacare is going to afford my wife that opportunity to find out and quite possibly lower her monthly out of pocket expense of $633.00 plus.

    So gentlemen, welcome to the real world…and God forbid anyone gets sick long term, but at least they now have Obamacare to give them peace of mind knowing that they will not have to finance there future because they cannot be dropped by their currant insurance plan.

    So I say HURRAY FOR OBAMACARE and good for CVS for stepping up.

  4. And LauraD, if you (or anyone) without insurance goes to an ER, those costs are also shifted, to use your word. Every person who has a health policy pays a “hidden tax” to cover the unpaid ER visits. Individuals pay up to $425 extra per year, and a family of 4 pays up to $1100 extra per yr.

    I agree with Marty….thank God for Obamacare. For the haters and deniers without insurance, maybe what CVS and the joint venture of Walgreens and Blue Cross will serve as a wake up call for you.

    Oh, and the same party that wants to repeal the law also recently voted to do away with overtime pay and not to increase the minimum wage. Those will never see the light of day, but it shows their intent and their subservience to their corporate masters.

    And by the way, if GOP policies are so good, why do the majority of Red states receive more in federal aid than they pay into the system? If federal money is so bad, why don’t those states just say no? Why are Red states at the bottom in terms of education, health, economic development, infant mortality?

    Red states also have the highest percentage of people not paying federal taxes, as well as receiving the most food stamp benefits. Nothing wrong with the latter, but quit complaining about “others.”

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