Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Health Exchange hopes fake rappers will make signing up for insurance cool

Posted By on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Today in life imitates The Daily Show: The Washington Health Benefit Exchange launched a new TV advertising campaign featuring a fictitious pair of flashy rappers. They sing, they dance, they beatbox—about preexisting conditions, medical debt and "40 CCs of low cost options"—in hopes of convincing young people to sign up for health insurance. 

The new ads are aimed at the "young invincibles" demographic, 18 to 34 year olds whose participation in the health exchange is vital to making the Affordable Care Act work.  Although nearly half of the uninsured population in Washington state are young adults, so far they represent only 20 percent of new enrollees in Washington's health insurance exchange.  That's why Washington is spending $10 million in federal grant money to reach out to young people. 

"I think the first thing that when people initially see the ads is they're immediately caught off guard and the reaction is 'What did I just watch?'" Michael Marchand, the exchange's director of communications, told "The more people watch them the more they seem to like them and it seems to have almost that Napoleon Dynamite/Anchorman feel to it, and the more you see the movie you realize there's layers to it."

What do the rest of you young'uns think? Watch the ads below: 

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About The Author

Deanna Pan

Deanna Pan is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers social justice, state politics and health care. In her cover stories, she's written about mass shooting survivors, NGRI patients and honey bees...