Megan O’Neil, University of Maryland, is the eXtension Fellow for 2013. Megan’s emphasis is to build an Ask an Expert focus area on Health Insurance Literacy. Since starting her fellowship she’s worked hard to bring expertise together to respond to the many questions Americans have as health insurance issues change.
Currently Megan has 54 Experts representing 28 states on board to answer questions relating to Health Insurance Literacy. You can see these experts here: https://people.extension.org/communities/1655/connections?connection=joined
Megan and her colleagues have developed 86 potential Frequently Asked Questions through several avenues: pilot testing of the Smart Choice curriculum and TOT sessions implemented across the country, her own review of the literature and social media, and through breaking down key research-based resources to help people understand the changes in health care and health insurance into smaller bites.
Of the 54 Experts, 17 educators are writing and 8 are editing FAQs and nearly all of these folks are brand new to eXtension.org, Ask an Expert, and CREATE (eXtension’s content development environment).
“Ask an Expert is a vital component of our Health Insurance Literacy Initiative. We recently tested educational materials in 2-hour workshop settings with a wide diversity of consumers. All workshops began by collecting attendee questions. Those questions were submitted to Megan as a beginning source of questions for Ask an Expert,” said Bonnie Braun, co-leader Health Insurance Literacy Initative.
“In the multi-state pilot testing of the consumer and educator guides with 142 consumers, we learned that most wanted follow-up information. They want a place to interact with a professional. The Ask an Expert option will help fill that request.”
“We eagerly anticipate the availability of this teaching tool as the program goes live with the health insurance open enrollment period that begins October 1. We anticipate a large consumer demand and usage of the site–especially as we launch the marketing component of what will be known as Smart Choices for Health Insurance,” said Braun.
Five social media presences have been established related to the health insurance literacy efforts:
To join or ask this Ask an Expert effort: