Public Library Association supports libraries in connecting consumers to health care coverage

For Immediate Release
Thu, 11/01/2018


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association

CHICAGO – Today (Nov. 1, 2018*) marks the beginning of the six-week enrollment period for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the Public Library Association (PLA) is providing support for public libraries to help their communities get covered. As part of a national partnership made possible by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Community Catalyst, PLA is promoting enrollment in the ACA Marketplace through libraries.

Through its new insurance education and outreach initiative, Promoting Health Communities: Libraries Connecting You to Coverage, PLA recently awarded mini-grants to dozens of public libraries across the country. 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. Click here to see a list of mini-grant recipients.

All U.S. public libraries are urged to help their communities with ACA enrollment in the following nine ways:

  1.  Host a public program during Open Enrollment.
  2.  Offer dedicated staff assistance.
  3.  Host a training session about Open Enrollment so staff are prepared to answer frequently asked questions from patrons.
  4.  Place an ad in social, news, and/or print media.
  5.  Embed the “Get Covered Connector” widget on your library’s website. Instructions can be found on this page.
  6.  Link to on your library’s website.
  7.  Create a ready-reference guide to local designated assistance organizations and Navigators.
  8.  Distribute flyers or other print materials.
  9.  Attend the Libraries Connecting You to Coverage webinar on Thursday, Nov. 15. (This webinar is free, but registration is required and space is limited.)

Enrollment Tools for All Libraries

PLA has ideas, tips and tools to make educating communities about the ACA Enrollment process easy. They include educational resources and free customizable communication materials such as those found on the ACA Outreach Hub, which contains images, editable files, and communication templates in English, Spanish and other languages. Click here to learn more.

Staying Informed

Sign up for PLA’s Promoting Healthy Communities e-newsletter to learn more about consumer health in libraries and how to help family and friends get covered. You may also visit PLA’s Healthy Community Tools for Public Libraries website or join our Health Interest Group on ALA Connect**. Questions about the initiative and mini-grants may be directed to Leighann Wood, PLA program manager, at or 312-280-5867.

*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 personal membership required.

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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