Ch-ch-ch-changes! Mathalicious is now Citizen Math . Please visit www.CitizenMath.com for the real-world math lessons you know and love. Alternatively, you can continue to access Mathalicious.com until the end of the school year, at which point Mathalicious will ride off into the sunset. For more details about the transition to Citizen Math, please click here.
Health insurance reform is one of the most important issues in the United States. It’s also one of the most contentious. Years after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, feelings are still heated.

In this lesson, students use percents and expected value to understand how health insurance works. Students explore the issue from the perspective of both consumer and insurance company, and learn about everything from the denial of insurance due to pre-existing conditions to the individual mandate.

Students will

  • Calculate expected value and use it to solve real-world problems
  • Solve real-world problems using percents

Before you begin

Students should be able to calculate percents of numbers, e.g. 16% of $40,000 = 0.16(40,000) = 6,400. They should also understand that a probability describes how likely something is to happen, but does not guarantee that it will.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices