Understanding Health Insurance is a practical curriculum to help young people value and obtain access to health care as they transition to independence. Topics include: 1) Why young adults need health care and health insurance; 2) Different ways to obtain health care coverage, including public and private options; 3) Getting the most out of your health insurance coverage.

The Understanding Health Insurance curriculum project was funded by a 2009 Hatch and Smith Lever grant.


This project builds on research exploring New York State residents' views on health insurance and reform, including what they would like to know and understand better regarding health insurance and the healthcare system. Information on residents' views and questions was gathered as part of the 2008 Empire State Poll, which is conducted yearly by the Survey Research Institute at Cornell University.

Lessons Plans

Are you a teacher or youth worker interested in using the Understanding Health Insurance lessons? 
Using the Teacher's Guide | Teacher's Guide

Links of interest

Kaiser Family Foundation

Project Personnel

The UHI project team includes faculty and staff with expertise in health policy, teaching and evaluation:

  • Principal Investigator: Professor Emeritus William White, PhD, Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University.
  • Co-Principal Investigator: Professor Kosali Simon, PhD, formerly of the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, now with the University of Indiana.
  • Project Coordinator: Margaret Johnson, PhD, Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation, Cornell University.
  • Consultant: Hanna Weiss, MS, certified teacher and public health educator, currently working with the Southern Tier AIDS Program.

Understanding Health Insurance curriculum by Cornell University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


If you use UHI, please drop us a note by contacting Margaret Johnson at maj35@cornell.edu.