NGPF Featured Lesson: Your Health: Insurance & Other Costs

Oct 29, 2014
Budgeting, Lesson Idea, Current Events, Insurance

From Jessica Endlich Winkler:

We did it — we undertook the task of designing a budgeting lesson around the costs of maintaining your health. In some ways, it’s a pretty straightforward — will students choose to join a gym or will they find a way to workout for free? But you can’t do a health budget without talking insurance, and the Affordable Care Act is still so new, fluid, and misunderstood that finding good web resources for this lesson was a real challenge. Here are some of my favorites from 6.5 Your Health: Insurance & Other Costs

  • Discussion Prompts – We start every lesson with discussion prompts, and this one poses the quandary of which is more important: buy health insurance or save for retirement?

  • Rutgers University connects health and wealth — Students take an online quiz assessing their physical and financial health and then read about the very real costs of an unhealthy lifestyle. Rutgers raises interesting points from direct connections (smoking is risky and expensive) to the less obvious (plus sized clothing is frequently more expensive) to perhaps unexpected correlations (statistically, thinner women earn more than their heavier counterparts).
  • Humana videos explain insurance — Students can’t budget for health insurance appropriately if they have no clue how it works. Two straightforward, student-friendly videos explain the basics and some of the key vocabulary. Our student interns tell us that videos that include narration AND text illustration are the most useful for learning new concepts, and that’s what we’ve found here.
  • Choose a Health Insurance Plan — Here’s the meat and potatoes of this lesson. Students compare the prices of four different health insurance purchasing options (employer-based, remain on their parent’s coverage, buy directly from an insurance provider, shop on the Marketplace) by doing their own web research, making decisions along the way on what kind of coverage they need, and evaluating all the options. It’s a complex activity with a lot of ambiguity on what the best option may be for each individual, but that’s reality when it comes to purchasing insurance, and we think your students will be up for the task after completing the NGPF lesson.

Of course, our collection includes additional articles, some infographics, assessment questions, and a slide of key takeaways — everything you can expect from our unit on Budgeting.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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