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Health insurers to spend $1 billion on TV advertising

Staff writer |
U.S. health insurers plan to spend $1 billion on television advertising over the next two years. TVB estimates that insurers would invest around 1% of the incremental revenue generated from new customers.

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The main factor behind the extra spend is the Affordable Health Care Act, which comes into effect in 2014 and requires all individuals in the U.S. to have health insurance.

Local stations are expected to be get the biggest part of the advertising cake with 70% of the total money spend, with the rest going to national broadcast and cable networks.

Ads are already airing, with a goal to educate consumers about the online exchanges launched in each state and about their responsibilities to take out insurance. Some analysis show that 75 percent of uninsured are not aware the exchange was launching.

TVB, the trade association of America's commercial broadcast television industry, predicts that ads would encourage people to shop on those exchanges. Health-care ads would become a top money-making category for stations alongside autos, fast food and furniture stores, said Scott Roskowski, TVB's senior vice president of marketing and added that "this category could be a killer".

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