Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Affordable Health Care for All

Have you heard of the Affordable Health Care Act? My college roommate, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, is the 22nd United States Secretary of Health and Human Services since 2014 and charged with providing affordable health care to all.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

What has happened so far with the Affordable Health Care Act? This video features Kathleen Sebilius whom my roommate replaced:

Health Care Reform Update

MacTemps and Health Care Benefits to Temps

When I co-founded Aquent, a staffing firm for marketing and creative talent back in 1986, no employment agency provided health care benefits for temporary staff. But we realized that we were competing for the best talent and we wanted them to choose us instead of a competitor. We also knew that our talent worried about health care benefits, because it was something I worried about as post-college graduate in a start-up!

MacTemps PragmaticMom

Aquent founder PragmaticMom

We became literally the first employment agency to offer temporary workers accessible and affordable health benefits. We were written up in a Harvard Business School case study here. (We started our company as MacTemps but rebranded when we expanded beyond the Macintosh computer and temporary staffing.)

MacTemps is a provider of temporary workers skilled in computer graphics and database management. Unlike many temporary agencies that treat temps as a commodity, MacTemps has attempted to build relationships with temps through offering benefits and training. This case explores the pros and cons of this strategy by presenting data on the underlying economics of the arrangement and the characteristics of the temp force.

The case was written up in 1996 and I am still shocked that now, in 2015 — nearly 2 decades later — affordable health care is still an issue here in the United States!

If you are wondering why employers offer health insurance, the reason is quirky and arbitrary:

History of Health Insurance


What is the Affordable Health Care Act?

The Affordable Health Care Act aims to help more people get access to affordable health insurance. The Act also guarantees coverage for pre-existing health conditions, and financial assistance for those who qualify. This may include savings on your health insurance premiums via a tax credit or a government sponsored program, such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare.

But people are unaware that they may be able to save money on their health insurance. Did you know that almost 87% of health insurance exchange applicants saved $250 a month or more on their health insurance last year?

If you want to see if you can save on health insurance benefits for yourself (and your family), I wanted to share tools to help find a health plan through UnitedHealthcare for rate comparison. You may or may not be in an open enrollment period for your health care benefits, but this rate information might help you figure out if you can save money.

Health Insurance Glossary

Choosing a Health Plan

Save on Health Insurance

How about you? Do you have any questions about the Affordable Health Care Act or regarding choosing a health plan? Ask away. I have a bunch of video resources that I didn’t list and I can steer you towards them if you leave me a comment. Thanks!

This is a sponsored post by UnitedHealthcare. All opinions are my own.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I am glad you are sharing resources on this. It can be very confusing!
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