Illinois partners with The Onion to get younger people to register for Obamacare

The state is looking to target The Onion's readers, who are between the ages of 21 and 34, highly educated and affluent, to register for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Posted By Ananth Baliga  |  Feb. 10, 2014 at 4:39 PM
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CHICAGO, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Illinois' Affordable Care Act outreach program has teamed up with an unusual partner -- satirical weekly publication The Onion -- to get young and healthy people to sign up for health insurance.

The partnership, under the state’s official outreach program called Get Covered Illinois, will include running banner ads on The Onion's website featuring a man, without health coverage, forced to sell his action figures to pay medical bills.

The Onion will also create a video, an editorial and a special news section covering the Get Covered Illinois initiative.

An important part of the Obamacare implementation is the enrollment of young and healthy individuals, which according to proponents of the law will help bring down the premiums for other older and unhealthy individuals.

“We know that to effectively reach Young Invincibles -- who are 53 percent of our uninsured residents in Illinois -- we have to work with non-traditional, and especially digital, sources for news and entertainment. That’s where The Onion fits right into our outreach strategy,” said Jennifer Koehler, executive director of Get Covered Illinois.

The Onion, despite its satirical content, seems a good outlet to target these 'young invincibles' as their audience is mainly comprised of young adults between the ages of 21 and 34. According to ComScore, more than 60 percent of Onion readers are college and graduate-school graduates.

“Get Covered Illinois understands their target demographic and is taking a creative approach to tailor a message to that audience that goes beyond traditional marketing,” said Mike McAvoy, President of Onion, Inc.

The agreement comes at a time when most health exchanges are making a final registration push ahead of the March 31 deadline.

[Get Covered Illinois]

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