Health Insurance Education: Options for you and your family

Editor's note
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 [email protected] that includes a download link. If you do not receive this email within two business days of ordering, please send a message to [email protected] 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).

Options for you and your familyMU Extension state specialists developed this curriculum, and it 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.

When you purchase the curriculum, you will receive links to any updates between your date of purchase and the next Oct. 1. After that, an annual update fee will apply if you want to purchase the updated curriculum for the next enrollment period. We will continue to update the curriculum as long as our funding and project continues.

About the curriculum

Because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), individuals, families and businesses will need to make decisions about their health insurance and the options they provide. 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.

The curriculum contains five sections, but it is designed so that you can choose sections to fit the needs of a particular audience.

  • Health Insurance Education: Options for you and your family — The basics (36 slides)
  • Health Insurance Education: Options for you and your family – The basics (Spanish version – 35 slides)
  • Health Insurance Education: Options for you and your family — In-depth (74 slides)
  • Optional add-on: Supplemental information for specific groups, including older adults; young adults; farmers; immigrants; self-employed; unemployed; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals — (20 slides)
  • Optional add-on: Employer-sponsored insurance: What employees need to know — (14 slides)
  • Optional add-on: Changes to Medicare — (20 slides)

This curriculum covers the following topics

  • Health insurance basics
    • How the ACA has changed health insurance laws and how this might affect participants
    • How health insurance works and factors to consider when choosing a plan
    • Why health insurance is important
    • Basic health insurance terms participants need to understand
    • Special enrollment periods
    • Tax filing
  • 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 generalizable across states), including how the Marketplace works, types of plans, premium tax credits, 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 might 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. With the focus is on what employees need to know, this section could be paired with “the basics” for a presentation to a group of employees.
  • Changes to Medicare
    • How Medicare works and how it is affected by the ACA.

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 that 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 health care law (sample_role-plays.pdf)
  • A PowerPoint training module on the role of non-programming staff (e.g., administrative assistants who might 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.


  • Health insurance
  • Health insurance literacy
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Obamacare
  • Insurance
  • Personal finance
  • Community health


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