Educating Youth About Health Insurance

PHIRE Team at George Washington High School in San Francisco

Students at George Washington High School in San Francisco create an informational video about health insurance for other students.

School-based health centers throughout California are part of the effort to carry out community education on and enrollment in the new health insurance exchanges mandated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

The California School-Based Health Alliance (formerly CSHC) is one of 48 lead organizations that received a total of $37 million this week from Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange board.

The goal of the Covered California grant program is to increase awareness of affordable health coverage options available through the California Health Benefits Exchange, eliminate perceived barriers to coverage, and motivate Californians to enroll in health coverage.

Read about the Covered California grants here.

Through its $377,000 grant, our organization will partner with a network of 12 school-based health centers and other school programs to educate young people about the importance and accessibility of health insurance plans. The network will reach young people and their families in counties across the state, including in the Bay Area, Los Angeles County, the Central Valley, and rural areas of Northern California.

Schools are a strategic venue for conducting education about new health insurance options because students and families trust the school to provide unbiased information. Hundreds of students and families rely on schools to provide them with critical information that supports community well-being.

The program we will oversee as part of the Covered California grant builds on its successful Peer Health Insurance Rights and Education (PHIRE) program that piloted in 2012 at high schools in San Francisco and San Jose. The initial program trained 31 students who in turn educated more than 2,500 members of their communities. Listen to a CBS Radio report on our outreach efforts.