WA Healthplanfinder Targets Millennials through Football, Music during Final Weeks of Open Enrollment

Outreach Announcement Coincides with National Youth Enrollment Day

OLYMPIA, Wash. – To coincide with National Youth Outreach Enrollment Day, Washington Healthplanfinder today announced a drive to encourage 18- to 34-year-olds to sign up for health insurance by the Feb. 15 deadline. Washington Healthplanfinder will target this key audience through Super Bowl gatherings and online outreach, outreach at music events, community colleges, and through digital and social media campaigns that increase awareness of the penalty for not enrolling.

Following last weekend’s enrollment events at malls and community colleges across the state, Washington Healthplanfinder will be the presenting sponsor of the launch party for the Sasquatch! Music Festival on Feb. 3. Fans can line up to get free tickets to the 2015 Sasquatch! Festival Launch Party this Saturday morning at 10 am at the Paramount Theatre while engaging with Washington Healthplanfinder brand ambassadors to win additional prizes.

“We have developed an aggressive outreach strategy to reach this audience as we approach the Feb. 15 deadline,” said Michael Marchand, Director of Communications for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “By engaging with music and sports fans both online and in-person, we’re able to connect with them at a deeper level and reach them where they are.”

Tuesday evening’s Launch Party at the Neptune Theatre will allow an on-site activation team to promote Washington Healthplanfinder messaging, informational materials and the current “It’s About Time You Got Health Insurance” campaign. As part of the ongoing collaboration with Live Nation in Washington, information has already reached Millennials through banner ads on popular music websites, publications such as The Stranger that reach this demographic, radio DJ announcements and social media channels.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Washington Healthplanfinder will reach excited fans headed to popular restaurants and pubs to watch the game through Biking Billboards ambassadors in Bellingham and Seattle. Seahawks players Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman starred in a recently-released online public service announcement promoting Washington Healthplanfinder that has already been seen more than 875,000 times across various digital platforms.

“The game this Sunday is a unique opportunity to reach this audience,” said Marchand. “In addition to the recent Seahawks public service announcement that promotes wahealthplanfinder.org, local brand ambassadors will engage with this audience directly outside of popular pubs and restaurants before and after the game to help spread the word.”

Through lead organizations and community groups, college students are also being encouraged to check out their health plan options through Washington Healthplanfinder. Public Health – Seattle & King County’s outreach calendar lists enrollment events at Green River Community College, Highline Community College, North Seattle Community College, Seattle Central Community College, Seattle Vocational Institute, and South Seattle Community College. Additional outreach events are available on the Exchange website.

“Due to our continued outreach, more than 22 percent of our enrollment in Qualified Health Plans has already come from this age group,” said Marchand. “Based on data from the last open enrollment period that shows most young adults wait until the last minute to sign up, we expect this percentage to increase as we approach the deadline.”

The final open enrollment push includes messaging about the penalty increase this year. Most people who do not sign up for health insurance in 2015 will face a penalty of $325 per individual or up to two percent of their income when they file their taxes in 2016. Because research shows that young adults find this message to be a compelling reason to enroll, a digital campaign of banner ads and paid search will highlight the tax penalty message.

During last year’s 2013-14 open enrollment period, more than 200,000 adults ages 18 to 34 signed up for a Qualified Health Plan or Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) through wahealthplanfinder.org.

To help Washington residents enroll ahead of the deadline, the toll-free Customer Support Center will have special weekend hours on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 from 7:30 am to 4 pm, as well as Feb. 14 from 7:30 am to 4 pm and Feb. 15 from 7:30 am to 9 pm.

REMINDER: The deadline for new and renewing customers to select and pay for a Qualified Health Plan through Washington Healthplanfinder is 9:59 p.m. on Feb. 15 for coverage that begins on March 1, 2015. Due to federal services maintenance, Washington Healthplanfinder will be unavailable starting 10 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15.

Enrollment in Washington Healthplanfinder Business and Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) is year-round. Apple Health customers will receive a notice 60 days before the month they enrolled in or renewed their coverage last year.

Residents who are interested in signing up or renewing their Qualified Health Plan may visit wahealthplanfinder.org.

About Washington Healthplanfinder
Washington Healthplanfinder is an 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. The current open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder began on Nov. 15, 2014 for health insurance coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2015. The open enrollment period ends on Feb. 15, 2015.

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) to implement 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. For more information, visit www.wahbexchange.org.