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California Honing Strategies to Market Exchanges

California and other West Coast states are searching for creative ways to promote their health insurance exchanges to residents, Politico reports.


About California's Exchange


The Affordable Care Act requires states to launch online insurance marketplaces by 2014. California's exchange, named Covered California, primarily will serve individuals and small businesses.


Supporters hope that the exchange will function similar to websites like Amazon and Expedia so that users will be able to choose between various health plans through an easily navigable online store.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration granted conditional approval to California's plan to build and operate a statewide health insurance exchange.

The exchange is expected to open for registration in October 2013


Details of Marketing Efforts

Some states are concentrating outreach efforts on hard-to-reach populations, such as non-English speakers and younger residents who do not think they need health insurance coverage.


To boost enrollment, some West Coast states are considering advertising campaigns for:

Certain websites;

Prescription drug containers;


Sporting events; and



The states also might partner with local community groups to reach minority populations or those who live in rural areas .


Details of California's Outreach Efforts

Officials in California plan to spend nearly $90 million this year to market the exchange.

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."


In addition to using conventional marketing strategies, California officials are planning to increase grass-roots efforts at churches, cultural events and schools to promote the exchange.