University of Maryland Extension




Health Insurance Literacy Initiative (HILI) Status
Special Edition - Smart Choice Health Insurance 
Second Pilot Test Multi-State Findings Revealed


The 2017-2018 pilot test of the Smart Use Health Insurance© Understanding and Estimating Health Care Cost module is finished.  Results show that consumers increased their confidence in understanding cost terms and estimating costs.  Certified Extension Educators taught 16 workshops in four states and two national webinars for 186 consumers between May 2017 and June 2018.  The impact of the workshops was measured by valid and reliable questions.

Click here for the report


The 2014-15 pilot test of Smart Choice Health Insurance© is finished. Results show that consumers increased their confidence and ability to choose a health insurance plan!  Certified Smart Choice© Extension Educators taught 61 workshops in seven states for 422 consumers between September 2014 and March 2015.  Impact of the workshops was measured by valid and reliable questions developed and tested by the American Institutes of Research.

Click here for the report. 



2013 - 2014

The 2013-14 pilot test of Smart Choice Health Insurance© is still available. 

Click here for the report.



Smart Choice - Smart Use Scholarship 2018 Inventory

Smart Choice- Smart Use Scholarship 2017 Inventory

Smart Choice - Smart Use Scholarship 2016 Inventory

Smart Choice - Smart Use Scholarship 2015 Inventory

For an inventory of Smart Choice Health Insurance scholarship between July 2013 and July 2014 click here!



Below are presentations and articles authored by the UMD Health Insurance Literacy Initiative team. These materials provide the background for "Insuring Your Health," "Smart Choice Insurance," and assist Extension's "Ask an Expert: Health Insurance Literacy" initiative.



Braun, B., McCoy, T. & Finkbeiner, N. (2014). Extension Education Theoretical Framework with Criterion-Referenced Assessment Tools. College Park, MD:  University of Maryland Extension.



Brown, V. (2017).  Infusing adult education principles in a health insurance literacy program. Health Promotion Practice,

Brown, V., Russell, M., Ginter, A., Braun, B., Little, L., Pippidis, M. and McCoy, T. (2016). Smart Choice Health InsuranceTM: A new, interdisciplinary program to enhance health insurance literacy. Health Promotion Practice, 17(2), 209-216.


Russell, M., Brown, V., Braun, B., Little, L., McCoy, T., Pippidis, M., & Garcia, C. (2014). Smart Choice: A Solution for a more health insurance and financial literate America. Journal of National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. 9. 78-83:


Russell, M., Little, L., & Pippidis, M. (2014) Effective Case Studies:  Making a Smart Choice Health Insurance© decision. The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues.


Ginter, A.C., Maring, E.F., Paleg, B., and Valluri, Swetha. (August, 2013). Using clicker technology with rural, low-income mothers: Collecting sensitive data anonymously. Journal of Extension.


Kim, J., Braun, B. and Williams, A. D. (2013), Understanding Health Insurance Literacy: A Literature Review. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 42: 3–13. doi: 10.1111/fcsr.12034



Smart Choice Health Insurance: Increases Confidence - Reduces Confusion.  

Presentation at Institute for Healthcare Advancement Health Literacy Conference, May 8, 2014 by Virginia Brown on behalf of HILI team members.


Poster Presentation at NACDEP Galaxy Conference 2013 in Pittsburgh.  View the poster on the pilot program here and the poster on the Smart Choice decision tool here.


Health Insurance Literacy Theoretical Framework 

Presentation by Dr. Bonnie Braun on understanding and applying theorectical frameworks to health insurance literacy.


Ask an Expert, Extension, and Smart Choice Health Insurance

Presentation by Megan O'Neil to the Community HealthCorps Program Development Institute, August 2013. Washington, DC.


Brown, V.L., Russell, M. and Braun, B. (2013). Health Insurance Literacy Initiative. (Poster Presentation). Galaxy Conference 2013. Pittsburgh, PA.


You and Health Insurance: The Why, What, and How for Making a Smart Choice

Presentation by Lynn Little, Bonnie Braun, Virginia Brown, Teresa McCoy, Mia Baytop Russell, Megan O'Neil, Jinhee Kim, Crystal Terhune, and Maria Pippidis. 2013 Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education Conference. November 21, 2013. Greenville, South Carolina.



Ginter, A. & Duggal, M. (2013). Clickers: Voice with anonymity -- Implications for research. College Park, MD: University of Maryland Extension.

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