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National Network of Libraries of Medicine,

National Network of Libraries of Medicine

Libraries and the Affordable Care Act   Tags: aca, affordable care act, exchange, health insurance, insurance, marketplace  

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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New Links and Breaking News!

Now that the health insurance exchanges are open for business, library staff will continue to need up-to-date information.  Check here for the latest news and important announcements related to the ACA.

  • HHS Awards $36.3 Million in Affordable Care Act Funding (Added 12/16/14)
    Funding to 1,113 health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and seven U.S. Territories as announced December 9, 2014. The press release includes links to the list of award recipients and other helpful resources.
  • Understanding Health Insurance (Added 12/16/14)
    Every librarian will be happy to know about this user-friendly site from the Kaiser Family Foundation that helps consumers learn the basics about insurance. Resources are available in Spanish too:
  • 5 Steps to Staying Covered (Added 12/16/14)
    For people who enrolled in the marketplace in 2014, this handout goes through steps they need to take prior to February 15 in order to stay covered for 2015.
  • 2015 Open Enrollment - Upcoming Deadlines and Enrollment Period (Added 12/12/14)
    The Basics: The Open Enrollment period for 2015 coverage is November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. People who want a new plan to start January 1, 2015 must renew or change their plan by December 15, 2014. To continue existing health coverage in 2015, people can renew their existing plan or choose a new plan through the Marketplace until February 15, 2015.
  • Toolkit: Helping the LGBT Community Enroll in Health Insurance (Added 12/12/14)
    This enrollment toolkit is an important set of resources to help the LGBT community get enrolled in health insurance plans.
  • New Initiative from CMS: From Coverage to Care (Added 10/9/14)
    The new Coverage to Care initiative is designed 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. Many new written resources and videos for consumers will be useful for library patrons. Materials can be printed or ordered for handouts. Visit the Outreach and Education page for an extensive list of materials in English, Spanish and other languages at this site:
  • Webinar Archive Now Available: Looking Ahead to 2015 Open Enrollment (Added 9/25)
    If you weren't able to attend this webinar, you can still learn about the 2015 open enrollment period and helpful new resources from representatives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and a librarian who discusses what to be thinking about from the library perspective.
  • The State of Enrollment: Lessons Learned from Connecting America to Coverage (Added 6/27/14)
    Enroll America has released a report about the lessons learned during the initial open enrollment period and best practices to continue in the future. A link to the PDF of the 92-page report is available on this page.
  • New Resource! Libraries and the Health Insurance Marketplace (Added 5/1/14)
    This new guide supports library professionals in creating a continuing, locally-relevant approach to ACA information requests and is intended for use by libraries in all states, regardless of the marketplace operating in their state. The resources and recommendations are also relevant for developing broader health information services. Sections include Affordable Care Act 101, Community Assessment, Partner Engagement, and Telling Your Library's Story. The Community Assessment section links to the Consumer Health Toolkit developed by NN/LM PSR staff.

Webinars and Trainings (Events and Recordings)

State-Specific Resources

Getting Up to Speed - the Essentials

Get Official Resources

Resources for Libraries


Uninsured Population by State

State Medicaid Expansion

As part of the Affordable Care Act, individual states were given the choice to expand Medicaid services. Learn more about Medicaid expansion and find information about specific states at the page below from

Map of US showing Current Status of State Medicaid Expansion as of August 2014

Special Populations

Diverse group of young adults

As we find resources for specific populations or audiences, we'll post them here.

State Health Insurance Marketplaces

States will either choose to provide a Health Insurance Marketplace or to participate in the federal Marketplace. American Samoa, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands have not established Health Insurance Marketplaces.

Health Centers - Grantees by State

Community health centers have been essential in the effort to help people understand their options and sign up for health insurance.  This effort is being supported through 2014, with new grants just announced on December 11. Go to the link below and choose from the map to see a list of the community health centers in your state.


MedlinePlus for Trusted Health Information

MedlinePlus is a vital resource for quality health information of all kinds, including health insurance and the Affordable Care Act. Visit the newly enhanced Health Insurance Health Topic page for links to essential information for library patrons and consumers.

MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You

Health Insurance Marketplace

Get quick answers about Obamacare laws and the Health Insurance Marketplace has good, easy-to-understand information for consumers; use it with your library patrons.

Readings of Interest

  • Librarians to Help with Health Law
    This article from the Minnesota Public Radio discusses the role of libraries as they gear up to help the public understand their choices for health insurance under the new law.
  • Tracking ACA Implementation in California
    This guide from the California Healthcare Foundation tracks the California implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), describing requirements for public and private coverage, what steps have been taken and what still needs to be accomplished.
  • Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Literacy Page
    See this page for links to several timely and relevant papers, such as "Let's Ask 4: Questions for Consumers and Providers About Health Insurance", Amplifying the Voice of the Underserved in the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and Helping Consumers Understand and Use Health Insurance in 2014.

About This Guide

This guide is a collection of selected links and resources to help libraries, hospitals, and other organizations help people find information and learn about the Affordable Care Act and their choices for health insurance.

The guide will be continually updated as new information and resources become available. Please feel free to link to this guide or reuse any of the content created here.

Note about accessibility: To see the URLs associated with the hyperlinks on the page, please click on Print Guide. This will load a page with the URLs visible, which will be helpful for printing and screen readers.


NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region

Logo NNLM Pacific Southwest Region

NN/LM PSR is part of the regional outreach program of the National Library of Medicine, located at the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library at UCLA. Our region includes Arizona, California, Hawai'i, Nevada, and the U.S. Territories in the Pacific.

Our mission is to enhance access to health information for health professionals and the public. For more information about NN/LM PSR, please visit our website at

Is something missing from this guide? Comments or suggestions are welcome! Contact us at

Contact us at:

National Network of Libraries of Medicine

National Network Office

National Library of Medicine

8600 Rockville Pike, Bldg. 38, Room B1-E03

Bethesda, Maryland 20894


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