Rollout of the ACA and Healthcare.gov in the SCR
As of January 1, 2014, many individuals have gained healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act via the Healthcare.gov website. Since October 1st there has been a constant stream of information and publicity about the continued roll out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka “Obamacare” and the Healthcare.gov website. As individuals began to sign up for coverage last fall, many libraries throughout the country provided assistance to their patrons for the process through a variety of services in their libraries. Before the beginning of open enrollment on October 1, NN/LM SCR staff provided several webinars created to support libraries, and, in particular public libraries, in their efforts with the ACA which reached more than 800 attendees. The NN/LM SCR is now listed as a Champion for Coverage.
Many of the SCR Resource Libraries and their outreach contacts have been on the front lines of providing information to their patrons about these initiatives. Below are some of the ways the NN/LM SCR Resource libraries have provided information regarding the ACA. Advance apologies for any omissions; this information was current based on available information at this time.
LSU Health Sciences Center Medical Library, Shreveport, LA (via Donna Timm): added information to their Healthelinks home page.
The TMC Library, Houston, TX (via Adela Justice): created a LibGuide on the library website. The metro Houston area has two large public library systems – Houston Public Library and the Harris County Public Library (HCPL). HCPL has this link on their website: http://www.houstonlibrary.org/affordable-healthcare-act
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Information Center, Albuquerque, NM: created a LibGuide on the library website, “Affordable Care Act.”
University of Texas Health Sciences Center Libraries, San Antonio, TX (via Peg Seger): engaged in a large initiative supporting an on-campus Champions for Coverage student effort. The library discussed the ACA at their Community Advisors meeting in November. Several documents were created for use in promotion of the libraries as resources for ACA-related questions. The San Antonio Public Library has provided several locations with onsite navigators for enrollment assistance and has a page on their website devoted to ACA materials.
UT Southwestern Library, Dallas, TX: John Fullinwider (former outreach contact) provided a series of programs on the ACA to small town and rural public libraries in their service area, and also provided a Roundtable discussion at the SCC/MLA annual meeting in October on these efforts.
UTMB Health Moody Medical Library, Galveston, TX: created a LibGuide on the library website, “Affordable Care Act & Health Care Reform.”
For a recent summary of the status of the ACA roll out and what the new year will bring, see the article from the January edition of The Nation’s Health: “Affordable Care Act brings new benefits as marketplace enrollment progresses: Reform advancing.”
For more information on resources related to the ACA, visit the NN/LM SCR webpage.