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Advocate: W.Va. misses out on health care ad money

Published: Thursday, July 2 2015 3:57 a.m. MDT

FILE - This Sept. 11, 2013 file photo shows the federal government form for applying for health coverage, in Washington. Getting covered through President Barack Obamaís health care law might feel like a combination of doing your taxes and making a big purchase that requires research. Youíll need accurate income information for your household, plus some understanding of how health insurance works, so you can get the financial assistance you qualify for and pick a health plan thatís right for your needs. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File) (J. David Ake, Associated Press) FILE - This Sept. 11, 2013 file photo shows the federal government form for applying for health coverage, in Washington. Getting covered through President Barack Obamaís health care law might feel like a combination of doing your taxes and making a big purchase that requires research. Youíll need accurate income information for your household, plus some understanding of how health insurance works, so you can get the financial assistance you qualify for and pick a health plan thatís right for your needs. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File) (J. David Ake, Associated Press)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A group working to spread the word about a new health insurance marketplace born of the Affordable Care Act says West Virginia has passed up millions of dollars in federal advertising money.

Perry Bryant of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care says the government would fund radio and TV spots if the state submitted a proposal, but it declined.

The health care exchange launched Tuesday.

A policy director for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says the state wants to see how it's working before requesting more money. Hallie Mason says it makes more sense to wait and assess where the shortfalls in communication are.

Bryant says some groups are planning ads. But smaller ad budgets mean smaller audiences. And he says without state guidance, there is no effective over-arching theme.

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