Breaking News Bar
updated: 10/1/2013 7:37 AM

Illinois unveils health marketplace ads

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • This undated image provided by the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace shows one of three print ads that Illinois will launch Tuesday in an advertising campaign to inform Illinois residents about the health insurance marketplace opening that day that will connect people with new benefits under President Barack Obama's health care law.

      This undated image provided by the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace shows one of three print ads that Illinois will launch Tuesday in an advertising campaign to inform Illinois residents about the health insurance marketplace opening that day that will connect people with new benefits under President Barack Obama's health care law.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • This undated image provided by the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace shows one of three print ads that Illinois will launch Tuesday in an advertising campaign to inform Illinois residents about the health insurance marketplace opening that day that will connect people with new benefits under President Barack Obama's health care law.

      This undated image provided by the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace shows one of three print ads that Illinois will launch Tuesday in an advertising campaign to inform Illinois residents about the health insurance marketplace opening that day that will connect people with new benefits under President Barack Obama's health care law.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Associated Press

Illinois officials plan to launch a long-delayed, $33 million advertising campaign to inform residents about a new health insurance marketplaceTuesday, the ads first appearing on the same day the marketplace goes live with details of benefits available under President Barack Obama's health care law.

The Get Covered Illinois ad campaign will start slowly with full-color newspaper ads in 50 cities, said Kelly Sullivan, chief marketing and communication officer for the marketplace. She provided copies of the ads to The Associated Press.

Sullivan said radio and TV ads won't start until officials make sure the web-based marketplace and a call center are working smoothly and that enough trained workers are ready to help people sign up for insurance. Hundreds of outreach workers are awaiting required certification in Illinois because of a delay getting them through a federal training program.

The campaign, orchestrated by St. Louis-based FleishmanHillard, gets underway as a new survey shows six out of 10 Illinois adults don't know about the marketplace or that it will offer many people financial help paying the cost of insurance. The findings, released Monday by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund, come from a random sample telephone survey of 470 Illinoisans conducted July 15 through Sept. 8.

About 1.8 million Illinois residents are uninsured, 15 percent of the population. The Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to have insurance coverage or pay fines. The marketplaces, one in every state, offer a way for consumers to comparison shop for insurance and to see if they qualify for tax credits to help pay the cost.

"We know the majority of adults in our state are unaware of the marketplace," Sullivan said. "The idea (of the print ads) is to get the name into the consciousness of Illinois residents."

Later this fall, the campaign will address three barriers to purchasing insurance: cost, confusion and complacency, Sullivan said.

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos said Monday in Chicago that she doesn't think people should sign up the first time they sit down and look at the marketplace website.

"This is complicated. There's a lot of choices, there's a lot to think about ... and that's OK," Hamos said during a speech to women lawyers. "There's no reason people should feel they have to rush in."

The initial print ads don't include a telephone hotline number, Sullivan said, because officials don't want to overload the call center on the first day. But the phone number has been announced to the news media. Illinoisans can call (866) 311-1119 toll-free to get information. Starting Tuesday, the help line will be available seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Twitter and Facebook will be part of the marketing campaign, Sullivan said, with marketplace updates and messages tweeted and posted at CoveredIllinois.

The print ads show photos of smiling people superimposed on an outline of the state. The tagline is "Welcome to a new state of health." The first ads aim only to introduce the idea and the name of the marketplace to an audience that is largely uninformed about it, Sullivan said.

Last spring, Illinois officials were saying they hoped the ad campaign would launch during the summer. In an April interview, Brian Gorman, director of outreach for the marketplace, said a summer launch would prepare state residents to embrace a so-called "culture of coverage."

States running their own marketplaces are further ahead on advertising and promotion than Illinois. Kentucky, the only Southern state running its own marketplace, kicked off an $11 million advertising campaign in June. Ads have been running on TV, on radio, on the Web and in newspapers in that state and many others.

The federal government is operating most of the Illinois marketplace because state lawmakers didn't approve a state-run effort in time for this year. That left Illinois subject to federal delays and slowed the launch of the ad campaign, Sullivan said.

Share

Interested in reusing this article?

Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.

The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.

Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *

Message (optional)

Success - Reprint request sent Click to close
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here