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Affordable Care Act (ACA) Resources

What is the Affordable Care Act?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), frequently referred to as Obamacare, was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 23, 2010.On October 1, 2013, open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace began for coverage starting as early as January 2014. The inital open enrollment period closes March 31, 2014.

A brief outline of each Title (or section), as well as the full text of the ACA can be found at The Affordable Care Act, Section by Section from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

What is the role of libraries in the Affordable Care Act?

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has partnered with several government agencies regarding the role of the NLM, and each of the eight Regional Medical Libraries (RMLs) has been working with their state libraries to provide information.

More information about the ACA and the Role of Libraries is available from the American Library Association (ALA). Information and resources related to how public libraries are responding to health information needs, and, in particular, needs related to the ACA may be found on the Health Happens in Libraries page of the OCLC WebJunction website.

Libraries and information providers are encouraged to link users to information provided by 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 already existing websites.

Recent Updates new item


    The website has undergone a number of updates, upgrades and software improvements to improve the performance of the site. The deadline for coverage beginning January 1, 2014 has been extended to December 23, 2013.


    Allows individuals or organizations to enter their geographic location to identify local ACA consumer assistance destinations in their area. This resource is also available in Spanish at

Key Resources

  • and the Spanish version are the primary websites for information about the ACA. A toll free call center is available 24/7(1-800-318-2596 or 1-855-889-4325 TTY/TDD). Operators can provide educational information and enrollment assistance in more than 150 different languages.

    The Get Insurance tab of the site provides customized information on the Health Insurance Marketplace for individuals and families as well as small business owners. The site enables visitors to complete an application and see various plan options.

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

    CMS has been designated as the HHS division responsible for the rollout of the ACA.

    The site contains Publications and articles on the Health Insurance Marketplace including application forms for individuals and families. Additional information about the role of Navigators and organizations which may serve as Champions for Coverage is available. The NN/LM SCR is now identified as a Champion for Coverage.

    Hard copies of materials to distribute throughout enrollment are available at no cost from CMS in limited quantities using  an online ordering system . Libraries are welcome to request these print materials from CMS, however, it is important to note that quantities are limited and stock is constantly changing. You will need to create an account to be able to view and order materials. Once you have an account, search on the keyword “marketplace” to see the available publications.

  • from the National Library of Medicine

    MedlinePlus has a Health Topics page devoted to all matters relevant to Health Insurance, including many items related to the ACA.

Other Organizations

South Central Region (SCR) State-specific Information

Libraries may receive questions relating to state-specific provisions of the ACA. The table below summarizes some of that information.

State State-level
Navigator Grant Recipients Libraries Identified as Champions for Coverage new item
Arkansas (AR) No

Southern United Neighborhoods;
University of Arkansas

Van Buren Public Library, Van Buren, AR
Louisiana (LA) No Southern United Neighborhoods New Orleans Public Library, New Orleans, LA
New Mexico (NM) Yes


Oklahoma (OK) No Cardon Healthcare Network, LLC DBA Cardon Outreach;
OK Community Health Centers, Inc.;
Little Dixie Community Action Agency, Inc.

Duncan Public Library;
Tulsa City-County Library System

Texas (TX) No

United Way of Metropolitan Tarrant County;
Migrant Health Promotion;
National Hispanic Council on Aging;
Change Happens;
United Way of El Paso County;
Southern United Neighborhoods;
East TX Behavioral Healthcare Network;
National Urban League

Victoria College and the University of Houston-Victoria, Victoria, TX
Bell Whittington Public Library, Portland, TX
Hood County Library, Granbury, TX
Van Alstyne Public Library, Van Alstyne, TX
McAllen Public Library, McAllen, TX
National Network of Libraries of Medicine, SCR, Houston, TX

Resources from the South Central Region

SCR staff have been providing information sessions on the role of libraries in the Affordable Care Act. Materials used during these presentations are listed below.

The Role of Libraries in the Affordable Care Act
September 10, 2013 Webinar Presentation for Oklahoma Department of Libraries

Have health insurance questions? Get Quick Answers

For questions contact Cheryl Rowan, NN/LM SCR Consumer Health Coordinator

713-799-7880 (or 800-338-7657 in AR, LA, NM, OK, TX)