PLA’s Insurance Education and Outreach Initiative
Apply Now to Become a Certified Application Counselor (CAC) for the Affordable Care Act
Applications are being accepted to offer financial and staff support public libraries to become Certified Application Counselor Designated Organizations (CDOs) for the 2021 Open Enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act. CDOs can certify library staff and volunteers as Certified Application Counselors (CACs) who will receive training and hands on support to assist patrons and community members to successfully enroll in health insurance during open and special enrollment periods.
Up to 30 public libraries in states that utilize the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM)* at healthcare.gov will receive $1,000 to support their organization in becoming a Certified Application Counselor Designated Organization (CDO) and certifying at least one staff member and/or volunteer as a Certified Application Counselor (CAC).
Up to 10 of the awarded public libraries will also receive an additional $1,000 in funding to support efforts to increase communication, awareness and education about the upcoming Open Enrollment period which begins November 1 – December 15, 2020.
All awardees will be required to do brief monthly reporting on communications metrics and related outreach activities.
*To see if your state utilizes the Federal Marketplace, please review the list here: Medicaid and Health Insurance Marketplace Coordination (Kaiser Family Foundation).
Questions about the CDO and CAC application certification and process can be directed to PLA Project Manager, Symone Villaseñor at email@example.com.
What Libraries Can Do
Prepare Your Library Staff for Open Enrollment
*Dates may vary in states that utilize a State-based Marketplace (SBM).
- Tell your community the library is here to help learn about and enroll in health insurance coverage plans!
- Advertise on social media, tv, radio and other outlets using the ready-made communications assets in the Outreach Hub for:
- Host workshops or informational sessions
- Distribute printed materials
- Reach out to community partners and healthcare advocates to share expertise and get assistance with enrollment
- Familiarize yourself with exceptions that allow consumers to enroll outside the Open Enrollment period
- Promote the screening tool at healthcare.gov/screener for people to determine if they can complete Special Enrollment or enroll in Medicaid or CHIP.
- Advocating for health at your library
Showcase the vital roles of the library and educate the public about the critical health issues your community faces:
- Be a health advocate for your library with this presentation template (PPTX)
- Use community health data to plan your services, displays, and collections
- Get the community active by hosting yoga, 5ks, and other events
- Promote nutrition through cooking classes, summer meals for kids, and partnering with farmers markets
- Support staff to get educated about their own health and wellness
Resources for libraries:
- Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services: cms.gov
- Coverage plans and more: HealthCare.gov
- Health news and program ideas for your library: Publiclibrary.health
- Turning the Page: www.publiclibraryadvocacy.org
- National Network of Libraries of Medicine: nnlm.gov
- Digital Literacy Training for Patrons: digitallearn.org
Library Mini-grant Awards
Through its second annual initiative in 2019-2020, PLA offered mini-grants to support up to 100 U.S. public libraries. Awardees disseminated information, offered education, partnered with health insurance enrollment and provider groups, and encouraged community members to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace during the open enrollment period.
During the first year of the initiative in 2019, PLA distributed quality materials and communications, and offered mini-grants to 64 U.S. public libraries (PDF) and again to 40 U.S. public libraries (PDF) to implement outreach and education activities for understanding health insurance and health information.