WellPoint, Blues plan to sponsor Spanish ads on Univision

In an effort to woo the coveted Hispanic consumer market, WellPoint and some Blue Cross Blue Shield plans will be Univision's exclusive health insurance sponsors of the TV network's health initiative Salud Es Vida (Health is Life), reported Kaiser Health News.

Roughly 10 million Hispanics could be eligible for coverage under the reform law. Since many of these consumers are young, they represent a key population for insurers--inexpensive and healthy. However, a recent survey concluded that more than 50 percent of Hispanics have little or no understanding of the law, the Los Angeles Times reported.

That's why some WellPoint plans have contracted with Univision, for an undisclosed amount, in California, New York, Colorado and Georgia. Two other insurers--Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Florida Blue--also have signed on to partner with Univision.

The Spanish-language media network's health initiative will include a special sponsored website that connects Hispanic consumers to health insurance exchanges as well as sponsored ads on TV, radio and newsletters. Univision also plans monthly town halls and meetings to reach out to the Hispanic community, according to Georgia Health News.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, for example, is hoping to reach the state's 850,000 Hispanics who lack health insurance. "We are confident that the partnership with Univision will be a positive one for both parties and give Hispanic residents of Georgia affordable and effective options," Bert Kelly, a spokesman for the insurer, told GHN.

Meanwhile, Florida Blue's agreement with Univision includes a website that explains in basic terms how health insurance works and will allow consumers to connect directly to a Spanish Florida Blue site, where they can buy policies.

"The initial concept that we had for the Univision health insurance center is for it to feel as though you're walking into a Florida Blue retail center," Steve Snell, vice president of enterprise marketing for Florida Blue, told KHN. "Our goal first and foremost is awareness. A lot of folks who are currently uninsured may never have signed up for insurance before."

To learn more:
- read the Kaiser Health News article
- check out the Los Angeles Times article
- see the Georgia Health News article