Interactive Monday: Picking a health insurance plan

Dec 15, 2019
Insurance, Interactive

Thanks to NGPF Fellow Jill Wilson and her students from Glenwood Springs High School (CO) for sharing this health insurance interactive. They conducted this research as part of this NGPF project: Introducing Insurance - You Be The Teacher.

In this Health Insurance Matchmaking Game, students will complete a series of questions with the interactive then recommending what health plan is best for them. For example, the first time I played I answered the questions as a young person might:

  • I wanted coverage for myself
  • I need the insurance plan to last indefinitely
  • I visit the doctor 1-2 times/year
  • I have 1-2 generic drugs that I take (interestingly, there is no 0 option) 
  • I could afford less than $1,000 in out-of-pocket costs

Here's what they recommended (WARNING: CLICKING "View Plans" will take students to a site where it asks for personally identifiable information): 

I might use this as a whole class exercise and project the interactive on a screen and walk through several scenarios with student input: 

  • The one I provided above
  • A single person that would use more healthcare (prescriptions, doctor visits)
  • A family with low usage of healthcare 
  • A family with high usage of healthcare

Why I like this interactive?

  • It's simple and quick
  • It highlights the key questions to ask before settling on a health plan
  • Given that it's an interactive provided by a healthcare company (United Healthcare) it may lead to some questions about whether it is steering consumers to specific plans
  • It can be a jumping off point for a deeper discussion about the pros/cons of the various types of health insurance plans and when you might favor one over another
    • Plans with low deductibles and high premiums 
    • Plans with high deductibles and low premiums


Want to go deeper on this health insurance question? Pair this interactive with this NGPF Activity, COMPARE: Select a Health Insurance Plan


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.