California Health Benefit Exchange officials plan to enlist the help of television producers as part of a marketing effort to attract residents to the insurance marketplace, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 9/17).
About the Exchange
The federal health reform law requires states to launch online insurance marketplaces by 2014. The California Health Benefit Exchange primarily will serve individuals and small businesses.
Supporters hope that the exchange will function similar to websites like Amazon.com and Expedia.com so that users will be able to choose between various health plans through an easily navigable online store.
About 4.4 million Californians are expected to use the exchange by the end of 2016.
Officials plan to open registration for the exchange in October 2013 (California Healthline, 8/30).
According to "Healthwatch," if the exchange cannot attract enough customers to balance insurers' risk pools, insurance premiums could increase and enrollment could decline.
Details of Television Outreach
The exchange's public relations plan states, "A number of popular television programs and personalities such as 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Modern Family,' 'The Biggest Loser,' 'Dr. Oz' and others will be approached and pitched to incorporate story lines or mentions of health care reform that would reinforce campaign messages."
The plan states, "In addition, we would explore approaching select reality television producers to create a new reality television program revealing the trials and tribulations of families living without medical coverage," adding, "This can be a long process, so the conversations with the entertainment industry will begin early" ("Healthwatch," The Hill, 9/17).
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide has received a $900,000 contract from exchange officials to coordinate communications and outreach efforts (California Healthline, 9/18).