“I’ll sing for the place that my heart has called home where the salt in the air meets the cold mountain snow. Where I’m free to be healthy and happy and strong, live long in Oregon…”
If you’ve been living anywhere in Oregon for the past month you’ve likely either heard or seen the ads. Folk singer Laura Gibson croons in one radio version (quoted above), extolling the beauties of our state and leading an anthem for a healthy, ‘Portlandian’ utopia. Trailing the online version and billboard ads scrolls a website: www.coveroregon.com. If you’re like me, and most people I’ve talked to, you like the jingle, you tap your feet…and have no idea what Laura is singing about.
Apparently that is the plan. According to Amy Fauvre, Communications Director for Cover Oregon, who spoke with Elizabeth Hayes of the Portland Business Journal on August 29th, 2013, the company is taking a gamble and spending a good portion of their start-up funds on getting their name into the public sphere and building a positive association in people’s minds for their mission. Next month is when the ‘what’ behind Cover Oregon will be revealed.
And that ‘what’ is important. As we’ve discussed through You’re the Cure in earlier posts, Cover Oregon is the state’s new health insurance exchange, an online marketplace where Oregonians can shop for the health insurance plan that works best for them. Cover Oregon’s task is to enroll all uninsured Oregonians, currently estimated around 600,000, in one of the health insurance plans offered through Cover Oregon. Doing so, the company hopes, will bring down the cost of health care for everyone as people seek more regular, preventive care instead of heading to the emergency room due to lack of coverage.
Over the next month Cover Oregon will feature a new set of ads with an educational bent, explaining their mission and targeting specific population groups that have disproportionately high uninsured rates. A series of ads will run on Spanish speaking radio and tv stations and print materials will be available in Spanish, Russian, and most likely Vietnamese.
For Cover Oregon to be successful, and more importantly, for all Oregonians to experience the healthy Oregon spirit referenced in the catchy ads, everyday people will need to actually use the exchange, enroll in a plan, and take advantage of the benefits provided. Enrollment begins October 1st with coverage beginning January 1st, 2014. I urge you to check out the site and wish Cover Oregon, and us all, good luck in our pursuit of good health. www.coveroregon.com
Photo Above: Laura Gibson, Cover Oregon