Educating young people about health insurance and health care planning empowers them to make better choices as they grow into adulthood. This is why we are proud to partner with Junior Achievement and Quicken Loans in support of the Quicken Loans JA Finance Park to help prepare Detroit-area kids to make informed and responsible choices that impact their ability to manage personal finances and individual health.
“Health care costs and insurance are an important part of a personal budget,” said Bridget Hurd, director of BCBSM Community Responsibility. “Teaching students about the importance of health insurance and factors that impact insurance costs, including healthy lifestyle choices, may lead them to adopt healthier habits while contributing to the overall reduction of health care costs.”
The Quicken Loans JA Finance Park program for middle and high school students includes:
- Twenty-seven classroom lessons
- Curriculum aligned with Michigan Content Standards
- Teacher lesson plans and student workbooks that cover financial institutions, debit versus credit cards, salaries and taxes, investing, budgeting, and career exploration
After students complete the Junior Achievement course work at participating schools, a field trip to JA Finance Park for a one-day simulation on budgeting is scheduled. JA Finance Park now includes a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan health insurance storefront that students can visit to learn more about managing health plan choices.
At the Blue Cross “store” in Finance Park, students learn about health insurance plan premiums, copayments and costs not covered by insurance. Students visit the storefronts again and make payments for each of their purchases. At the end of the day, students receive a checkout report that tells them whether they were successful in creating a balanced budget.
An independent evaluation in 2008 tested the knowledge students gained about budgeting through their experience at JA Finance Park. Student scores moved from 52 percent correct on the pre-test to 72 percent correct on the post-test.
More than 8,500 students participate in the JA Finance Park program each year.
Visit jamichigan.org to learn more about our partnership with Junior Achievement, or to volunteer at JA Finance Park.
Photo by MeiGuoGuan