PBL Pathways

Content Area


Time Frame

5 to 6 weeks with Mini Lectures


March 16, 2012


Piecewise functions, linear functions, continuity

Project Title

Medical Insurance 3


David Graser, Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ (David_Graser@yc.edu)


This is another in the series I have developed on modeling health insurance with piecewise linear functions. In this project, students model an insurance plan and prove that the model is continuous.

Project Content

Project Letter: DOC | PDF

Scaffolding Resources

Definitions: DOC | PDF - This handout contains definitions of various terms you might find in a health insurance plan.

Technology Assignment: Collect and Organize Data DOC | PDF - In this tech assignment, students learn how to format an Excel worksheet while collecting data about about a health insurance plan. They will put the data into an Excel worksheet with data from the plan they have chosen.- To help understand the terminology regarding health insurance, students fill out a table ( DOC | PDF ) of the relevent charges and costs in the plan they chose. The links above are to Word and PDF forms for the table. Although the students can save their data in the form using more recent versions of Adobe Reader, a small number have difficulty doing this. For those students, I recommend they fill out the Word table instead. This video show how to fill out the form.

Technology Assignment: Calculate the Total Annual Cost  DOC | PDF - In this tech assignment, students modify the Excel worksheet from the technology assignment above to create a table for their health plan. Upon completion, they will have a table containing several values for total medical charges and the corresponding total annual medical costs. They will also have a graph of the function.

Technology Assignment: Calculate the Total Annual Cost (Alternate Version) DOC | PDF - This tech assignment may be used to replace Find and Understand Costs and Calculate the Total Annual Cost above. These assignments used Excel extensively to create a table of values. In this assignment, students find three points on the piecewise linear model for health insurance. Then they make a graph of the function using Excel.

Technology Assignment: Find Piecewise Linear Models DOC | PDF - This tech assignment demonstrates how to find the piecewise linear formulas for their health plan. It also shows how to use the equation editor in Word 2007/2010 to enter the model into a Word document.




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