DID YOU KNOW? Over a third of U.S. adults—77 million people—have difficulty with common health tasks, such as following directions on a prescription drug label or adhering to a childhood immunization schedule using a standard chart.

You and your family may not be getting or using the health information you receive in the best way.  You can take charge of your health care by improving your ability to understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.  This is known as HEALTH LITERACY.  Even people with strong literacy skills can face health literacy challenges when:

  • They are not familiar with medical terms or how their bodies work
  • They have to interpret numbers or risks to make a health care decision
  • They are diagnosed with a serious illness and are scared and/or confused
  • They have complex conditions that require complicated self-care

Increase your health literacy with the following resources:

Medical Homes: The modern medical home expands upon its original foundation, becoming a home base for any child’s medical and non-medical care.  Today’s medical home is a cultivated partnership between the patient, family, and primary provider in cooperation with specialists and support from the community. Medical Home Resources and Information

From Coverage to Care: From Coverage to Care is an initiative to help people with new health care coverage understand their benefits and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them, so they can live a long and healthy life: Technical Assistance Resources

Ask Three!:  This is a template of three great health literacy basic questions to always ask in healthcare settings: Ask Me 3: Good Questions for Your Good Health.

Medication: Statistics indicate one of the most common areas of medical mistakes happen when families take or give their children both over the counter and prescribed medications.  Check out the following links to increase your basic knowledge:

Resources for Youth with Disabilities

What is ACA? – Get the 101 basics: Learn about the law in this lighthearted, but informative video:

Additional Information about the key benefits of ACA:

Not Sure What You Should Do?  Visit or call (800) 318-2596. You can get help to plan your budget, learn about coverage, and gather information.

Prepare to Apply:  The Marketplace offers different types of health plans to meet a variety of needs and budgets.  Most people using the Marketplace will qualify to save money.  It will help if you have the following information close at hand:

  • Social Security Numbers or Immigrant Document Numbers
  • Birth Dates
  • Pay Stubs, W-2 forms, or Wage and Tax Statements
  • Policy Numbers for any current health insurance
  • Information about any health insurance you and your family could get from jobs

The Marketplace or Exchange:  This is the federal online resource designed to help you find and purchase health care insurance if you do not have employer based health coverage.  You can also review insurance plans to compare costs.  Under certain circumstances you may be able to obtain insurance at a lower cost than a current employer based insurance premium payment.  To learn about all your options:

How does the Affordable Care Act work in Iowa?

Individual Help Finding Insurance: Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), grants are given to each individual state so they can train individuals to help consumers find insurance, sign up for coverage, answer questions, and solve individual problems individuals experience trying to get health insurance. These trained individuals are known as Family Navigators.  Click on the map for the most current Family Navigator contact information in your area:

Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa:

General Contact Number:  515-288-1516

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland:

General Contact Number:  877-811-7524

R&B Receivables Management Corporation:

General Contact Number:  800-283-0310

Do you have an insurance complaint or concern? Contact the Insurance Consumer Advocate within the Iowa Insurance Division: 

These links are to information and resources to help you effectively use your health insurance:

 Iowa: A Specific Medical Model

Children, youth and adults with emotional or behavioral health diagnoses may be eligible to receive services through an Integrated Health Home model. An Integrated Health Home (IHH) is not a place you go. The term describes a best practice approach to provide health care, mental health services and supports for individuals to live successfully in their communities. Magellan Iowa oversees the network of IHH providers in our state. IHH providers work in teams of three including a parent or peer who has “lived” experience to assist your family.  IHHs are available across Iowa in every county.  The IHH model is being implemented by a variety of different providers and may be known in your local community with a different name. Click here to learn more.