Researcher Physicians Modify Health Insurance "Game" to Let Uninsured Workers in Pueblo, Colo., Select Benefits in an Affordable Plan

Understanding the role of evidence-based medicine and benefit design in doctor-patient decision making

Mark Earnest, PhD, MD, of the University of Colorado Medical School and a team of Pueblo, Colo., physicians created a modified version of CHAT (Choosing Healthplans All Together), a health insurance simulation in which consumers participate in the creation of an imaginary insurance plan with a fixed budget and a limited menu of options.

The modified version of CHAT supports a larger initiative, sponsored by the Dr. A.J. Kauvar Foundation and other health care stakeholders in Colorado, to create an affordable, basic health coverage plan for low-income, uninsured workers in Pueblo, Colo.

Key Results

  • The researchers created the "CHAT High-Value Game Board for Pueblo." Modeled on the original pie-shaped CHAT game board, it is divided into 10 benefit areas.

  • Small groups of low-income, uninsured workers use the game board to design a basic benefit package with a value of about $150 per month, compared to about $350 in traditional CHAT.