Monday, October 28, 2013

Teaching About Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and More

I'm getting to that part of the semester where I'm going to be teaching about the entitlement programs. I always cover the health care and income programs as the last part of the semester.  We all know how complicated these programs are to understand, so I like to use visuals,  in addition to PowerPoint, to help my students get a mental picture of these programs. 

I have a clip of a comedy sketch which explains the drug cards before Part D went into effect, which I use to help set up a discussion of the history and policies of Part D.  I like to use the Families USA Medicare Part D illustration of the donut hole.  It's clear, concise and you can see the "light bulbs" go on when the students work their way through the chart.

If you like to use videos, take a look at the Medicare Part D Donut Hole video available on YouTube by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (Oh and there are a lot of videos about Medicare-who knew). Want to learn about how Medicare works with Social Security Disability? Watch the video from CMS.

By the way, if you haven't taken a look at the Families USA website, you should. It has lots of good information on a number of relevant topics, including a "Medicaid Expansion Center".

For Social Security, I ask the students to examine the retirement calculator, so they can apply the discussion regarding the future of Social Security and saving for retirement to themselves. I also like to pull up the Retirement Planner "chart" during class for full retirement age.   The Medicare Rights Center has  great two page document that sets out the differences between original Medicare and Part C.

There are lots of different things out there we can use to help our students learn about these programs--the issue is time (much like study aids-we have to pick the most effective ones). I was hoping you might be willing to share what you do in your classes when you cover this material-post a comment or email one of us.

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