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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: Sep 8, 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.

  • Get Ready for the 2015 Marketplace: Looking Ahead to 2015 Open Enrollment (Added 8/27/14)
    Join WebJunction for the next Health Happens in Libraries webinar on Wednesday, September 24th (2pm Eastern/11am Pacific time.) In this webinar, you'll her about the 2015 open enrollment period from representatives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). You'll also learn about the Coverage to Care initiative and learn how connect community members to marketplace information through library services and partnerships.
  • Connecting in California: Partnering for Impact (Added 8/7/14)
    The rollout of the Affordable Care Act presented daunting challenges but also opportunities for libraries. Using California libraries and the Covered California marketplace as examples, this WebJunction article talks about the power of strategic partnerships and the benefits to entire communities as a result.
  • Blog post: Best Practices in Engaging the LGBT Community on the ACA (Added 8/6/14)
    This article from the blog discusses how the ACA has positive impacts on the LGBT community and the reality that there is more work to be done to provide coverage for this population group. It also mentions a new report from the Out2Enroll campaign, available as a PDF file here:
  • 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.
  • Getting coverage outside Open Enrollment (Added 4/7/14)
    After Open Enrollment, people can enroll in private coverage through the Marketplace only if they have a qualifying life event or a complex situation related to applying in the Marketplace. Learn more about special enrollment situations here.
  • Get Covered: A One Page Guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace, Updated February 2014 (Added 2/8/14)
    This one-page guide (PDF) covers the basics in an easy-to-understand format. The Spanish version is available at

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


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

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 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.

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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