Promoting Healthy Communities: Libraries Connecting You to Coverage

PLA’s Insurance Education and Outreach Initiative

Public Library Association logo
Community Catalyst logo
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation logo


PLA, along with nearly a dozen other organizations throughout the U.S., is working to promote health insurance enrollment and understanding. Our primary goals are to promote enrollment in the health insurance marketplace during the Open Enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act and to help educate people to understand how to use health insurance. As a part of the first round of funding, PLA has distributed quality materials and communications, and has offered $300 mini-grants to 66 U.S. public libraries (PDF) to disseminate, offer education, and encourage their communities to enroll in the health insurance Marketplace during the Open Enrollment period. Twelve libraries went on to participate in the second round of funding. The second round of funding application period offered 44 U.S. public libraries mini-grants of $500 to implement outreach and education activities for understanding health insurance and health information.

View the complete list of Round 2 grantees (PDF).

This national partnership to assist uninsured consumers in enrolling in the Affordable Care Act is made possible by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Community Catalyst.

What Libraries Can Do

Be prepared with the resources below to let your communities know the public library is available for assistance in helping patrons learn about health insurance:

  1. Use these guidelines and checklist to host an event on health insurance understanding (PDF)
  2. Common Coverage Questions
  3. Health Insurance Explained video
  4. Host a staff training session about Open Enrollment frequently asked questions:
  5. Link to on your library’s website
  6. Distribute flyers or other print materials
  7. Post these ready-made social media ads and graphics to promote health insurance literacy
  8. Use these communications assets in other languages!
  9. Be a health advocate for your library with this presentation template (PPTX)

For Navigators, Assisters, and Partners:

Insurance Jargon:

WebJunction’s Affordable Care Act 101:

Become a Certified Application Counselor Designated Organization (CDO):

How to Become a Certified Assistance Counselor (CAC):

Healthy Community Tools for Public Libraries:

Training for Patrons: DigitalLearn’s Searching for Online Health Information:

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