Help women learn about the important benefits available to them and their families through the Affordable Care Act

Women are often at the center of healthy and resilient families; they make approximately 80% of all family health care decisions and are more likely to be the primary caregivers for children and elderly parents.  To help make women aware of the important benefits available to them and their families through the Affordable Care Act, HHS is initiating this Challenge.

The Affordable Care Act is already making a difference in the lives of millions of Americans.  Starting October 1, 2013, millions of uninsured Americans will be able to find affordable health insurance that meets their needs at the new Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace). The Marketplace is a one stop shop where people can learn about health insurance, get accurate information on different plans, and make apples-to-apples comparison of private insurance plans. For the first time, comprehensive information about benefits and quality, side by side with facts about price, will help each consumer make the best coverage decision. For more information about how the Marketplace will work, including important deadlines and milestones, visit (English) or (Spanish). 

This Challenge calls for the creation of an innovative, educational Tool that informs women about enrollment in their State’s Marketplace as well as key provisions of the Affordable Care Act designed specifically to improve their health and that of their families.  Sponsored by the Office of Women’s Health at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health, in collaboration with the Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health, the Challenge aims to reach all women, but particularly those in medically underserved communities.

View full rules


1) Shall have registered to participate in the Challenge under the Official Rules;

2) Shall be comprised of at least two (2) persons, preferably with a combination of technical expertise that may include design, social media, public health, and health communications expertise.  Multi-disciplinary teams are encouraged to apply;

3) In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States;

4) Shall be made up of persons at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of entry and citizens or permanent residents of the United States;

5) Shall have complied with all the requirements set forth herein; and

6) May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment.



1) All Tools must be submitted through the Care Counts: Women, Families, and the Affordable Care Act Challenge Contest page on

2) All Tools must specify Spanish or English audiences.  If Spanish, the submission must also include English translation in a separate PDF document.

3) All Tools must be submitted with a one-paragraph description of the Tool for promotional and public voting purposes. The paragraph should be no more than 100 words, in a PDF document.

4) All Tools must be submitted with a Promotion/Outreach plan as a PDF document, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman, and no longer than 2 pages in length.  The Plan should demonstrate the Contestants’ understanding of the target audience and how to reach that audience with the Tool.

5) Endorsement of private products, services or enterprises is prohibited.

6) References to Congress, legislation or tools that otherwise suggest or promote lobbying are prohibited.

7) Tools that contain obscene or offensive information will be disqualified.

8) All Tools must refer to two or more of the 22 covered preventive services for women. See

9) All Tools must direct consumers to (English) or (Spanish), to promote enrollment in the Marketplace.

10) All Tools must mention the toll-free Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) call centers (1-800-318-2596) and 1-855-889-4325 (TTY/TTD).

11) Mention of websites other than (English), (Spanish), or is not permitted.

12) Tools should not include any personal identification information (i.e. name, address, Social Security number).

13) Contestants may submit an entry in each language category, for a limit of two (2) entries per Contestant.  Contestants may also submit their Tools in multiple formats, for example, a print tool that can also be formatted for the web, but this is not a requirement of the Challenge. 

14) Contestants may build upon or tailor existing Tools to integrate the Affordable Care Act key provisions noted under the Contest Guidelines above.

15) Both color and black/white submissions are acceptable.    

16) Video submissions must be 3 minutes or less in length.

17) All submissions must be 508 compliant. See this page for more information.

How to enter

All Tools must be submitted through the Care Counts: Women, Families, and the Affordable Care Act Challenge Contest page on

A complete submission to this Challenge will include the Tool, a one-paragraph description for promotional and public voting purposes, and a 1-2 page Promotion/Outreach Plan for the Tool.

A Tool is defined as a print, web or social media product (including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Apps, and/or other innovative resources) used to increase awareness and understanding for the target audience and motivate them to take action.  The target audience includes adult women in the United States and its territories, particularly women living in medically underserved communities or those who experience difficulty accessing health care.  The Tool should communicate complex information in understandable, culturally-competent, and relevant ways.  Reading level, common language, and health literacy of the target audiences should be considered.

For purposes of this Challenge, the key provision of the Affordable Care Act is coverage of 22 preventive services for women without copayment. See

The Tool must refer to two or more of the 22 covered preventive services for women. The Tool must also direct consumers to (English) or (Spanish), and the toll-free Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) call centers (1-800-318-2596) (English and Spanish) to promote enrollment in the Marketplace.   The Tool must also include the TTY/TTD call center number (1-885-889-4325).

The Tool may be designed to be used within systems of health care.  For purposes of this Challenge, a system of health care is defined as the organization of people, institutions, and resources to deliver culturally-competent, quality, comprehensive services to meet the health needs of the target audience.  Examples include HRSA’s Community Health Centers, Healthy Start programs, Ryan White Care service sites, National Health Service Corps sites, and HHS-supported Title X service sites. The Tool may also be designed to be used in community-based settings where women live, work, and purchase goods and services, such as schools, faith-based settings, recreation centers, and shopping centers.


Sabrina Matoff-Stepp

Sabrina Matoff-Stepp
Director, HRSA Office of Women's Health

Nancy Lee

Nancy Lee
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Women's Health Director, Office on Women's Health

Mayra Alvarez

Mayra Alvarez
Director of Public Health Policy, HHS

Catherine Oakar

Catherine Oakar
Senior Policy Advisor, HHS

Donna Cohen Ross

Donna Cohen Ross
Senior Policy Analyst, CMS/CMCS

Shawndell Dawson

Shawndell Dawson
Senior Program Specialist, Administration for Children and Families

Judging Criteria

  • Design and ease of use (35%)
    -Description of the Tool, including description of how it will be used to reach the target audience (15 points) -How easy is the Tool to use? (10 points) -Overall design/appearance of the Tool (10 points)
  • Clarity of Affordable Care Act-related information (35%)
    -Accuracy of information provided (15 points) -Prominence of covered preventive services (10 points) -Prominence of information about (5 points) -Prominence of information about toll-free CMS call centers (5 points)
  • Promotion/Outreach Plan (30%)
    -Demonstration of understanding of the target audience (10 points) -Description of how to reach the target audience with the Tool (10 points) -Feasibility of promotion/outreach plan (10 points)