Selling Obamacare in California

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Screen shot from Covered California “Doors” commercial

You can almost hear the clock on health care reform ticking.

In just three weeks, on October 1, millions of uninsured Californians can start enrolling in new health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Three months later, on January 1, those policies kick in.

To prepare Californians for the big health care changes ahead, Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace established under Obamacare, is starting to crank up a massive campaign of educational outreach and public persuasion, one worthy of Hollywood or Madison Avenue.

It’s a campaign that will encompass television and radio advertisements, social media, one-one-one outreach, and the convening of public town halls, where people can get an “Obamacare 101” tutorial and ask questions about the details of coverage, co-pays and deductibles. To help people get insured, California is also opening three enormous call centers staffed by 1,200 people.

How much will all of this cost? California will spend $80 million on its Obamacare media campaign, plus nearly $70 million more on other forms of outreach.

Below is an example of what some of that money is buying, the first commercials released by Covered California. Spots are airing in San Diego, Chico and Sacramento. The videos are not high concept commercials, but are designed to make the viewer feel comfortable with the big healthcare changes coming soon. (For more, here’s tonight’s Which Way, LA? on the topic)

Are you ready?