Courting Millennial HIE Enrollments with Comedy and Social Media: Ten Days to Go

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With just 10 days remaining in the health insurance exchange (HIE) enrollment period, last minute promotions from the administration can be found on television, and online—just about everywhere you look. The administration is pulling out all the stops to get the word out. First Lady Michelle Obama sent out emails this week encouraging people to get signed up because there are just 12 days remaining.  She requests that people forward her message to those people who may not have signed up yet, encourage them to do so quickly and to tell them you’re sending it because you care about them.

The administration is desperately trying to boost enrollments of the young and healthy—the 18 million Americans ages 18-34 who won’t overtax the system, but more importantly, who will cover the costs of the enrollees with more complicated health situations. With only 25 percent of total enrollees in this age bracket according to the latest CMS figures, the administration better make it flashy and appealing, quick.

So far, they’ve hosted a six-hour health insurance promo event, similar to the old Jerry Lewis telethons, but this was streamed live on YouTube, and featured a dance off with Richard Simmons. And he chanted: Get covered! Get covered! He’s been a guest on multiple talk shows to promote the Get Covered message:

The PSA announcements range from comical to downright odd, but the administration is hoping that using social media along with this new approach will get the attention of the target market it is looking to enroll. Covered California put together a series of ads including this one hosted by John Huertas, an actor who lives in California:

There also was a series of videos that portrayed singing cats and a rapping pug dog directing people to the website:

Critics are wondering if this is the best way to get through to these people. While the ads are entertaining, are they effective? A December Harvard Institute of Politics poll found 57 percent of young adults don’t support the new health law and have been slow to sign up. The final countdown begins now, and the proof will be in the pudding.