SACRAMENTO, CA: Covered California, the organization running the state's health insurance exchange, has hired Weber Shandwick to develop a creative marketing and paid media campaign running through April 2015. The contract is worth $12 million.
Weber's contract with Covered California includes strategy and overview of a paid advertising campaign, creative development and production of ads, social and digital media strategy and execution, and collateral material development.
Ogilvy Public Relations is also helping the state with media relations and community outreach touting the exchange. The organization recently increased the budget of Ogilvy's contract from $900,000 to $17 million as it works to boost its efforts to reach millions of uninsured Californians.
It is understood that the work to be performed by Weber was outlined but not awarded in the RFP process that Ogilvy ultimately won last year. Once Covered California realized these services were needed as well, it reached out to Weber, which was one of the other bidders that pursued the contract last year.
The health insurance exchanges, mandated by the Affordable Care Act, are marketplaces where consumers can compare plans and buy insurance. Earlier this week, California said it selected 13 health insurance plans that consumers can purchase.
In recent months, Weber has won numerous contracts to promote health insurance exchanges. The Interpublic Group agency is already promoting Maryland's insurance exchange as well as supporting federally run exchanges for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Those contracts are worth nearly $14 million combined.
Covered California feels Weber's experience in the area “will create significant results and cost-savings opportunities,” said executive director Peter Lee, in a statement. Having both Ogilvy and Weber on-board will position Covered California “to create an abundance of awareness over the next year and half,” he added.
Covered California also recently said it plans to grow its in-house marketing team by as many as 22 staffers.
A representative from Weber deferred questions about its work on the exchange to Covered California.