Health Insurance Education: Options for You and Your Family
This curriculum is only available in an electronic version. A link to ordering information is on this page. After you order, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org that includes a download link. If you do not receive this email within two business days of ordering, please send a message to email@example.com or call 800-292-0969. The link will download a zip file that contains the curriculum in two versions — a PowerPoint presentation and a PDF in notes layout, a handout called "What Is the Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace," three sample political neutrality training items, a sample post-program evaluation tool, and a document describing guidelines for curriculum use. Read the guidelines document prior to purchasing (PDF).
Because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), individuals, families and businesses will need to make decisions about their health insurance. As a nonpartisan entity, University of Missouri Extension’s role is to provide education. The Health Insurance Education Initiative’s curriculum is designed to provide Missourians with the information they need to make informed health insurance decisions.
This curriculum’s five sections cover the following topics:
- Health insurance basics
- How the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has changed health insurance laws and how this may affect participants.
- Why health insurance is important.
- Basic health insurance terms participants need to understand.
- Coverage and payment options for individuals and families
- Options for getting health insurance coverage and details about Missouri’s Health Insurance Marketplace (most of the Marketplace information is likely generalizable across states), including how the Marketplace works, types of plans, premium tax credits and cost-sharing discounts, and how to get enrollment assistance.
- The range of health insurance options, including employer-sponsored insurance, private insurance (or direct-purchase insurance), Medicare, Medicaid, and other options such as military or American Indian health insurance. The curriculum describes the benefits of health insurance and provides information on the individual mandate and the decision to not obtain health insurance.
- Supplemental information for specific groups
- Supplemental information for specific groups (seniors; near-retirees; women; young adults; college students; farmers; veterans and military families; immigrants; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals) who may be specifically affected by certain aspects of the ACA.
- Employer-sponsored insurance: What employees need to know
- Information on employer-based insurance with a focus on the options for employees of various-sized businesses. While the focus is on what employees need to know, it is fairly thorough in terms of what employers need to know and could be a standalone piece to be used in presentations to employer groups or in workforce development programming.
- Changes to Medicare
- How Medicare works and how it is affected by the ACA.
The first two sections are the core curriculum, and they provide basic health insurance literacy, information on the ACA, and the range of health insurance options for individuals and families. The last three sections could be presented along with the core curriculum for longer workshops, could be standalone pieces, or some of the slides could be integrated into the core curriculum depending on audience. The curriculum includes speaker notes that provide a high level of detail and background information and make the curriculum a helpful training resource for those working with consumers.
This curriculum is designed for use by extension or community agencies who likely have a nonpartisan mission. Therefore, the leadership team, after consulting with university legal, government relations and communications staff, developed training materials for use with faculty and staff on the importance of political neutrality. Included with the curriculum are the following sample documents:
- Political neutrality role-plays for faculty and staff who are not doing educational programming about the new health care law (sample_role-plays.pdf)
- A PowerPoint training module on the role of non-programming staff (e.g., administrative assistants who may take calls from the public) related to health insurance education (sample_staff_training.pptx)
- A communications plan for handling public and media inquiries related to health insurance/ACA education that includes talking points and a desk reference of contacts for faculty and staff to use in handling public inquiries (sample_talking_points.pdf)
Also included is a sample post-program evaluation instrument that is designed to assess participants' program satisfaction and content knowledge as well as collect demographic data.
This curriculum was developed by MU Extension state specialists and has been vetted for accuracy and neutrality by MU Extension Communications staff, MU system government relations and legal teams, and staff from the Missouri Foundation for Health (our partner that is leading a parallel education initiative). Given the changing nature of ACA-related content, we expect updates to the curriculum in the future. Those who purchase our curriculum will be notified of updates via email.
- Health insurance
- Health insurance literacy
- Affordable care act
- Personal finance
- Community health