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Real Stories

Health Insurance Options

Materials Needed: none

The facilitator should begin this activity by asking the following questions:

  1. What was one of the most important reasons Rochelle liked her new job as an electrician?
  2. How many of you have health insurance?
  3. If you do not have employer provided health insurance or have too much money to be on Medicaid but not enough money to buy your own health insurance, what is likely to happen to you if you have a medical problem?

Facilitator Tip: Before introducing this role play, you might want to visit some government websites (such as www.cms.hhs.gov) and take notes on programs such as "Child Health Plus" and Medicaid. This information can be shared with participants before they begin the activity as background information.

The facilitator should ask for two volunteers to play the following roles:

  • hospital billing office representative
  • uninsured patient who has recovered from emergency surgery

Some suggested role play questions or comments for the "actors":

Uninsured Patient

  • I don't have insurance, I have no way to pay and I don't know what to do.
  • No one in my family can help, money is very tight.
  • Is there a financial counselor I can talk with?
  • Do you have any discounts or payment plans?

Hospital Representative

  • Tell me about your household income.
  • We do have some financial assistance programs.
  • Let's see if you are eligible for any programs such as Medicaid, Child Health Plus or Family Health Plus.
  • If you or your family have any language barriers, we can send someone out to help you complete the program health forms.

After they discuss the problem of the bill, allow the participants acting as the audience to suggest how this problem could have been avoided and how it might be solved.

The facilitator should conclude this activity with the following questions:

  1. In the story segment, "Get Insured," financial expert Beth Kobliner said: " it's amazing to me, with all of the talk in our country about health insurance, 20 million people, aged 18 to 34, still don't have it." Why is that a problem?
  2. If you have health insurance but lose it, what options do you have?