Release: Washington Healthplanfinder Launches Second Advertising Wave

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 19, 2014, 7:00 am PST

CONTACT: Bethany Frey, Washington Healthplanfinder, 360-688-7752


Washington Healthplanfinder Enrollees Share Stories with Health Care Rap Duo in New Advertising Wave

Ads Complement Non-traditional Outreach at Concerts and Sporting Events to Reach “Young Invincibles”


OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Health Benefit Exchange began a second advertising wave today that highlights the personal stories of residents who have enrolled in a new health plan through Washington Healthplanfinder.

The ads complement new outreach efforts at sporting events like ice hockey and roller derby bouts that are aimed at encouraging young adults, especially the so-called “Young Invincibles” between the ages of 18 to 34, to check out the new health plans and financial help available through Washington Healthplanfinder.

“Our initial advertisements were focused on launching our brand and using the ‘Don’t Leave it to Chance’ message as motivation to get covered,” said Richard Onizuka, Chief Executive Officer for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Today, with more than 367,000 Washingtonians already signed up for coverage, we have an opportunity to share those success stories as we approach the close of open enrollment on March 31.”

To create an attention-grabbing message, the masters of ceremonies in the new campaign are literally M.C.s: a fictitious health care rap duo. The pair conducts interviews with real Washington residents who signed up for health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder and can speak about their personal experiences:

  • The first TV ad highlights Rian, whose 26th birthday meant she could no longer stay on her parents’ health plan. The memory of her appendectomy only a year earlier was the incentive she needed to find coverage through
  • The second TV ad tells the story of Patricia and Jon, who paid more than $200,000 in out-of-pocket health care expenses after they were repeatedly turned down by insurers due to preexisting conditions. Through, the couple was finally able to get covered and even qualified for financial help:

In addition to the television ads, the advertising campaign will share these and other enrollment stories through online, print, radio and social media.

“For many young adults, the thought of getting health insurance occurs only after an accident or illness,” said Michael Marchand, Director of Communications at the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “These new ads use humor and pop culture references to get people’s attention as well as make a serious message stick.”

To drive additional awareness, the Exchange recently launched partnerships with ice hockey teams across the State including the Everett Silvertips, the Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs and the Tri-City Americans. The interactive presence at these sporting events will include event signage, booth space, audio and video announcements and marketing materials.

This outreach will also take place through roller derby leagues and teams across Washington including Apple City (Wenatchee), Atomic City (Kennewick), Bellingham Roller Betties, Dockyard Derby Dames (Tacoma), Jet City Roller Girls (Everett), Oly Rollers (Olympia), Rodeo City (Ellensburg) and the Slaughter County Roller Vixens (Bremerton).

“In order to break through and reach new audiences, we have to be in unexpected places,” said Marchand. “Ice hockey and roller derby bouts target our key demographic of young adults and families who may not be aware of the new opportunities that are available through our state.”

The Exchange also continues to reach out to diverse communities across Washington through navigator organizations and other partners. Lead organization Public Health – Seattle & King County recently worked with community organizations to enroll more than 70 families at an Asian and Pacific Islander event that coincided with the Asian Lunar New Year. Two upcoming partnership events also include a Latino Outreach and Enrollment event on March 1 and an Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle event on March 15. Additional outreach events are posted at

For more information about Washington Healthplanfinder, visit


About Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Healthplanfinder is a new online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses in Washington to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing and public programs such as Medicaid. Washington Healthplanfinder began enrolling consumers on Oct. 1, 2013, for health insurance coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. The open enrollment period extends through March 31, 2014.

About the Washington Health Benefit Exchange

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is a public-private partnership established in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) with the goal to redefine people’s experience with health care through the creation of a new health insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses. The Exchange is separate from the state and governed by an independent 11-member board appointed by former Gov. Chris Gregoire in Dec. 2011.

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