Health Insurance
The Uninsured
Managed Care
Long term & Chronic Care
Healthcare Timeline
Glossary of Terms
Asking The Tough Questions
Interview with the Experts
Classroom Materials
Production Credits
How to Order A Tape
Broadcast Schedule
Site Credits

Information, Please

Subjects: Health, Career Planning
Estimated Time of Completion: 4-5 class periods


• Research various topics and learn how to phrase information in layman's terms
• Learn about a variety of health insurance options and terminology associated with health care
• Examine the impact of health care issues on politics and legislation
• Investigate the crisis involving high prescription costs
• To prepare a presentation that is interesting and informative to enhance the knowledge base of the audience as well


This activity addresses the following national content standards as established by McREL at

• Knows factors that influence personal selection of health care resources, products, and services
• Knows local, state, federal, and private agencies that protect and/or inform the consumer (e.g. FDA, EPA, OSHA, local prosecutor's office)
• Understands the cost and accessibility of a variety of health-care services(e.g. Health insurance coverage)
• Use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health. Students will learn how to listen, express themselves, and show respect for others. Good communicators and problem-solvers successfully resolve conflicts.

ISTE Technology Standards found at
• Routinely and efficiently use online information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, communications, and productivity.
• Select and apply technology tools for research, information analysis, problem solving, and decision-making in content learning.
• Collaborate with peers, experts, and others to contribute to a content-related knowledge base by using technology to compile, synthesize, produce, and disseminate information, models, and other creative works.

Tools Needed

• Video: "Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?"
• Computers with Internet access, paper for the brochure, presentation boards, large pads of paper or posterboard.
• In addition to the video, at least one each of the following must be used to complete the assignment: Web site, book, interview, periodical
Web site reference list in particular, Frontline: The High Price of Health
PBS: Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?

Procedures and Activities

• Begin the lesson by asking students what types of things they will look for in a full-time job (after graduation, as adults). Make a list of "desirable" job qualities on the board. If "benefits" aren't listed, ask students why they didn't name this. If students have identified benefits as an important quality, ask them why benefits are important. What types of benefits are essential?
• Explain that today they'll be viewing a video that will explain more about employee benefits, especially health care benefits.
• Explain also that they may take notes and may want to use those notes to complete several assignments related to the video.
• Explain that they will be working in groups and that one student from each group will draw a number to determine which group selects their topic first. The number drawn will be the order of selection of topics. The topics to be explored will be:
• What is a "benefits" package? Examples; choice between higher wages/no insurance or lower wage and benefits; what is a cafeteria plan and is it a viable alternative to employer subsidized health insurance. How can it be used? How does it benefit the employer and the employee?
• Major Medical or Fee-For service
• Medicare/Medicaid
• National Comprehensive Health Care status

• The presentations may be web pages, power point presentations, on a tri-fold presentation board or as a tri-fold brochure. Information should be presented in an interesting informative manner. Graphics of some type must be used.
• A list of Web sites will be given to each group for use in their search
• The assessment rubric will be distributed as a student checklist for the project

1st day- Introduce the topic, draw for group assignments, and view the video, "Healthcare Crisis - Who's At Risk?"
2nd day -Begin research on the Internet and in the library.
3rd day-Plan for a health insurance agent guest speaker who sells a variety of health insurance plans. Students may take notes and ask questions.
4th day-Set aside this day for group work compiling presentations and information. This may need to be 2-3 days, depending on the level of detail you desire.
5th day- Presentations


The attached rubrics are examples of possible assessments.

Benefit Package Assessment

Explanation 10
Examples of benefits 20
Choices when interviewing for employment 10
Options within a benefit plan 10
What is a cafeteria plan? 10
How does a cafeteria plan benefit employer and employee? 10
Status of benefits Packages today 10
Illustrated 10
Accurate and easy to understand 10
Total Points possible 100

Types of Insurance Plans(HMO, PPO, Major Med)

Illustrated 10
Easy to understand 20
Advantages 10
Disadvantages 10
Comparison with other types of plans(cost, coverages) 20
Options within the plan 20
Well prepared & interesting 10
Total Points 100


What is Medicare? 10
What is Medicaid 10
Illustrated 10
When was Medicare enacted 10
Problems with Medicare today 20
Who is excluded from Medicare 10
What particular part of Medicare are senior citizens today concerned? 20
Interesting and well prepared 10
Total Points possible 100

National Comprehensive Health Care Plan Status

History 20
Illustrated 10
Interesting, well prepared 10
Main issues today 20
Problems needing to be addressed 20
Current status 20
Total Points possible 100

Extensions and Adaptations

• To shorten the in-class time, some of the work could be done as homework. In lieu of a class speaker, each group (or a member of the group) could interview an agent on their own.
• Another shortened version would be for groups to use their notes to prepare an Acronym assignment in which the first letters of the words in their topics would be the basis for explaining their topic.

Note: This doesn't refer to the crosswords, but rather the acronym assignment.

• Student presentations could also displayed at health care open houses or community health fairs.
• As homework the night before showing the video: "Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?" students might be asked to talk with their parents about the type of health insurance they have for their family. The lesson introduction might then be class discussion about what the students learned from their parents.


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