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National Network of Libraries of Medicine


Librarians will be asked to help patrons with locating information about the ACA and the Insurance Marketplace. This guide points to resources; general and region-specific.
Last Updated: Jun 18, 2014 URL: http://guides.nnlm.gov/sea/ACA Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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New Links and Breaking News!

As libraries everywhere prepare for October 1, it's more important than ever to stay up to date.  Check here for the latest news and important announcements related to the ACA.

State-Specific Resources


Affordable Care Act Information

Latest HHS Information:

Enrollment Information:

We are taking steps to meet the consumer demand for affordable health insurance. There are four basic ways to apply for health coverage through the Marketplace:

  • Apply online. Visit HealthCare.gov to get started.
  • Apply by phone. Call 1-800-318-2596 to apply for a health insurance plan and enroll over the phone. (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)
  • Apply in person. Visit a trained counselor in your community to get information and apply in person. Find help in your area at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.
  • Apply by mail. Complete a paper application and mail it in.  You can download the paper application form and instructions from HealthCare.gov.

Before you choose a plan, you may want to explore your options.  You can use this calculator to see if you qualify for lower costs on coverage and preview Marketplace plans here.

You can also share your story using #GetCovered on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.


Facilitating the process for consumers

Below are several strategies that you can share with consumers who have questions about the enrollment process when the online enrollment tool is unavailable. Some of these strategies include:

  • Call the 24/7 Call Center at -800-318-2596 – representatives are available to assist a consumer with the entire enrollment process from beginning to end.
  • Provide the paper application.
  • Provide the consumer with information about insurance plan options without using the online enrollment tool – use the subsidy calculator and plan options tool to find out what might be available for the consumer.
  • Remind folks there is plenty of time – they learn as much as possible today and enroll in the future. Consumers have until December 15th to choose a plan that begins on January 1st and folks have until March 31st when Open Enrollment ends to choose coverage.
  •  Keep a cheat sheet of the most commonly asked questions on hand to address basic questions and provide quick answers.
  • Have url and telephone numbers on hand to help prevent consumers from visiting questionable websites.
  • Keep copies of materials on hand (handouts, applications, other preprinted materials). There are great resources at marketplace.cms.gov


Updated Marketplace Resources:

Marketplace materialsproducts are being updated on a rolling basis http://marketplace.cms.gov




·         Getting Help Enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace is Only a Phone Call Away here (and below): http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2013/10/marketplace-call-center.html.


·         How the Affordable Care Act Improves the Lives of American Women here (and below):  http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2013/10/affordable-coverage-women.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=recon&utm_campaign=champion_weekly_update&utm_content=10_29_13 


·         New and up-to-date details about the technical problems with HealthCare.gov and how the administration is working to solve them, visit this new blog post from HHS: http://www.hhs.gov/digitalstrategy/doing-better-making-improvements-healthcaregov.html



Latest ALA details on libraries and the Affordable Care Act:

An IMLS cooperative agreement with OCLC’s WebJunction will result in online educational webinars, tip sheets and other resources to help library staff members respond to increased patron information needs related to the Health Insurance Marketplace. These resources include:

American Library Association (ALA) President Barbara Stripling and IMLS Director Susan Hildreth issued the following joint statement:

“Providing resources that help librarians answer patron requests for health insurance information furthers the long-standing commitment of both IMLS and ALA to make information more widely available to the public. We are delighted to help connect libraries to these resources so they can provide timely information to their customers.

“While libraries provide information in a way that best suits their own communities, IMLS and ALA stand ready to help all libraries prepare for the anticipated increased demand for health-related information.”

ALA tools: http://www.ala.org/tools/affordable-care-act


Getting Up to Speed

Key Features of the Affordable Care Act http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/timeline/
Healthcare.gov – good starting point  http://healthcare.gov
CMS.gov Health Insurance Marketplace: http://marketplace.cms.gov
(Has official resources and training materials)
The American Library Association ACA page for libraries http://www.ala.org/tools/affordable-care-act


Resources for more information in the Southeastern Atlantic Region

            North Carolina State Library Libguide by Jeffrey Hamilton:


**If you are aware of any further or better resources for your state or you've developed an ACA guide for your state, please contact me.




Readings of Interest

Full text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3590enr.pdf
Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50%

Kaiser Family Foundation Guide to the Supreme Court's Review of the 2010 Health Care Reform Law: http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/a-guide-to-the-supreme-courts-review/
Institute of Medicine reports and further information: http://iom.edu/Global/Perspectives/2013/LetsAsk4.aspx

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 Healthcare.gov.


Health Insurance Marketplace

Get quick answers about Obamacare laws and the Health Insurance Marketplace

Healthcare.gov has good, easy-to-understand information for consumers; use it with your library patrons.


Uninsured Population by State

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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