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Librarians and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been much in the news recently, and, in fact, received a great deal of press at the recent American Library Association Annual Conference (ALA) held June 28 – July 2 in Chicago. It is becoming evident that libraries, particularly public libraries, will be called upon to serve a role in the rollout of the ACA. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has been in conversations with several government agencies regarding this role, which continues to develop. A panel presented at ALA, “Libraries & Health Insurance”, was presented by Jackie Garner, Medicaid consortium administrator; Susan Hildreth, director of Institute of Museum and Library Services; Ruth Holst, associate director at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Kendra Morgan, senior program manager, OCLC WebJunction . For more information about the ACA and the Role of Libraries, see: http://www.ala.org/tools/affordable-care-act .

For the present, key points to know include:

Healthcare.gov is the primary website for information about the Affordable Care Act. This site includes questions and answers, videos, and will have links to a toll free call center in many languages, as well as links to actual forms.

MedlinePlus has numerous links to information about the ACA under the “Health Insurance” Health Topics page.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released two discussion papers related to the ACA: “Helping Consumers Understand and Use Health Insurance in 2014″ and “Let’s Ask 4: Questions for Consumers and Providers About Health Insurance”

Libraries and information providers are encouraged to link users to information provided by Healthcare.gov. In anticipation of the upcoming open enrollment period, Healthcare.gov has created several widgets and badges in English and Spanish to quickly link website visitors to additional information.  Code for the widgets and badges is provided and can quickly be added to websites such as demonstrated in the example below.

Health Insurance Marketplace: Have health insurance questions? Get Quick Answers
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