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HealthCare Checkup

The Seattle Times health-care team tracks the local impact of the Affordable Care Act.

January 9, 2015 at 8:35 AM

Seahawks Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman push Obamacare signups

The push to get more Washington residents health insurance scored big time with a new public service announcement featuring Seahawks star players Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman.

The PSA being released Friday is a no-frills, 30-second production in which Wilson and Sherman make the case for getting health insurance and urge people to act soon. The delivery is flat, but at least spares viewers a slew of bad sports puns.

The message clearly targets “young invincibles” who feel confident that they’re unlikely to get ill or hurt and don’t see the need to buy insurance. Promoters of health-care reform are eager to enroll these young, healthy consumers in health insurance programs because they typically require less care and keep costs down for insurers.

Wilson and Sherman make a less-than-impassioned pitch to persuade people to get insured, but at least get the word out.

“We don’t always have control over when we get sick or when an accident strikes,” Sherman warns.

“Today too many Washingtonians are living without health insurance, which is a risk not worth taking,” adds Wilson.

Americans needing individual health insurance plans have until Feb. 15 to purchase coverage either through the state’s insurance exchange, called Washington Healthplanfinder, or from a broker or insurance company. Plans sold through Healthplanfinder are eligible for tax breaks that reduce the cost of monthly premiums and medical expenses. People who want their coverage to start on Feb. 1 must apply and make their first premium payment before 5 p.m. Jan. 23.

The PSA was produced in partnership with the White House and Healthplanfinder. Previous ad campaigns by the state have taken quirky and humorous approaches to promoting insurance coverage.

“I want to thank Russell and Richard for volunteering their time to raise awareness around the importance of enrolling in health insurance coverage and join them in calling for new and existing customers to visit Washington Healthplanfinder to check out their options,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell in a press release.

So far more than 107,000 Washington residents have purchased insurance through the state’s exchange. Officials hope to double that number by the end of open enrollment next month.

 

Comments | More in General News | Topics: Richard Sherman, russell Wilson, Seahawks

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