Public Library Association launches health insurance enrollment initiative

For Immediate Release
Wed, 10/10/2018


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)

Will offer funding for public libraries to connect consumers to coverage

CHICAGO – As part of its ongoing work to support the public library’s role in creating healthy communities, the Public Library Association (PLA) is offering new resources for libraries to help more Americans enroll in affordable health insurance. PLA is partnering with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Community Catalyst to address a shortened period for enrolling in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace and reduced funding for enrollment Navigators.

“People who receive in-person assistance are almost 60 percent more likely to enroll in the health insurance marketplace, but both funding and the number of organizations certified to provide these services have been cut significantly by the federal government,” explains PLA Executive Director Barb Macikas. “We feel public libraries, as critical community anchors that provide crucial health information, are well positioned to fill these gaps by sharing information about the ACA and supporting patron’s efforts to enroll successfully.”

Through its new initiative, Promoting Health Communities: Libraries Connecting You to Coverage, PLA is offering mini-grants to support up to 120 U.S. public libraries. Grant recipients will disseminate information, offer education, partner with health insurance enrollment and provider groups, and encourage community members to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace during the open enrollment period. For consumers in states that utilize the federal marketplace platform,, open enrollment begins Nov. 1, 2018, and ends Dec. 15, 2018. Consumers in the 12 states operating their own enrollment websites may have different enrollment periods. PLA also is providing all libraries with tips and tools to make educating communities easy, including resources and communication assets found here.

To apply for a PLA mini-grant, please click here. Priority will be given to applicants in states that utilize the federal marketplace platform or the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM). Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Sunday, Oct. 21.

Questions about the initiative and grants may be directed to Leighann Wood, PLA program manager, at or 312-280-5867.

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About PLA
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or