Covered California Presents First Television Ads to Kick Off Statewide Marketing Campaign

Covered California™ unveiled the first phase of its advertising and marketing campaign that will inform Californians about the new era of health care coverage arriving in 2014.

The campaign, rolling out next week, will promote the new insurance marketplace through television and radio ads, digital and social media, and an updated website showcasing a shop-and-compare tool and a suite of video resources. Stakeholders and media got a first glimpse today of the diversified effort to educate Californians about the exchange and its promise of much-needed coverage for millions when it opens Oct. 1.

“This media campaign will help launch the new culture of coverage coming in January 2014,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “The ads will explain that Californians will get access to low-cost or no-cost insurance and will benefit from new rules that allow everyone to have coverage. This will mean peace of mind for many Californians who have either been putting off medical care or going into debt because of health care costs.”

Beginning Labor Day, television ads will hit the airwaves in three test markets: San Diego, Sacramento and Chico/Redding. By October, other television markets will be added. The phased approach will allow Covered California to test the impact of ads and fine-tune its customer service process.

One of the inaugural television ads introduces viewers to the mission of Covered California with a series of freeway and city signs directing them to the security that having health insurance coverage can bring.

Another television ad shows common health scenarios that some Californians could face every day, including injuries and illnesses, and reminds viewers that they are eligible for Covered California insurance.

A Spanish-language television ad shows Californians welcoming Covered California into their homes and businesses.

“With a six-month open-enrollment period from October through March 2014, Covered California’s media team recommended we build our campaign to promote enrollment with an eye toward the beginning coverage date of Jan. 1, 2014,” Lee said. “We’ve done the background research to make sure we reach people in ways that are specific to their hopes, fears and concerns and that reflect the rich diversity of California’s population.”

From October on, these and other broadcast advertisements will run statewide along with print and radio ads connecting with specific ethnic communities, as well as languages beyond English and Spanish. The ads will expand awareness of the health benefit exchange, of how the process for shopping and signing up for insurance coverage works, and of how people can find out whether they qualify for financial assistance.

Covered California has budgeted $45 million for the initial push of paid media through March 2014 and plans to spend another $35 million from April to December 2014. The funds come from a one-time federal grant.

The advertising campaign complements a statewide community outreach, education and enrollment program, with hundreds of partner organizations and thousands of Certified Enrollment Counselors and Certified Insurance Agents set to spread the word in neighborhoods and assist consumers with enrollment. Covered California will also have more than 400 Service Center representatives by October to answer questions and enroll consumers in private health plans and Medi-Cal coverage.

About Covered California

Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California will help individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that will be available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses will be able to purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visit