“Don’t get screwed by Obamacare,” shouts a billboard in Dallas. “Find a Sugar Daddy.”
SeekingArrangement.com — a dating website that promises to link singles to “sugar daddies” and “sugar mommies” with financial means — launched a marketing campaign on Nov. 1 promoting the site as a place for young women burdened by new health insurance costs to find a benefactor.
The unusual outreach is among a spate of recent entrepreneurial efforts to drum up business as a result of changes in the nation’s health care system.
The website’s first billboard appeared in Dallas last week, with another set to go up in Pittsburgh. A third will likely appear in a Western city such as Phoenix.
“We tried to put up a billboard in D.C. but we got turned down,” said founder and CEO Brandon Wade. “I guess we’re too close to Obama or something.”
Profile creation is up 50 percent — roughly 24,000 women added to the site’s 2 million and growing list of members — in the two weeks since the health insurance push began. SeekingArrangement.com conducted a survey of new users and found that one in three signed up because they were concerned about the cost of coverage.
“We monitor the trends of what people are talking about and why they go on our website,” Wade said. “When we looked at our statistics for October, we noticed that members were distressing about the cost of health insurance more than in the months before.”
The campaign was a response to an 83 percent increase in October of the use of the keyword “health care” in “Sugar Baby” profiles. Already its YouTube video has more than 17,000 views.
“The Affordable Care Act requires young people who are healthy and may not have had insurance before to pay for it,” Wade said. “They are looking for help through our website.”
The site estimates the average monthly allowance in its Sugar Daddy-Sugar Baby relationships to amount to $3,000. It launched in 2006, and has facilitated various levels of relationships, from companions to long-term couples.
Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America — a conservative coalition that promotes biblical values and family traditions — said CWA would be willing to help if it kept the young women from “prostituting” themselves.
“Clearly they’ve been failed by their government,” Nance said. “I think the high number of people concerned about health care costs certainly reflects poorly on the Affordable Care Act.”
The Health and Human Services Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the website.