Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and then signed into law by the President on March 23, 2010. On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court rendered a final decision to uphold the health care law.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has ten sections; the titles are:
- Title I. Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans
- Title II. The Role of Public Programs
- Title III. Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Health Care
- Title IV. Prevention of Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health
- Title V. Health Care Workforce
- Title VI. Transparency and Program Integrity
- Title VII. Improving Access to Innovative Medical Therapies
- Title VIII. Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (CLASS Act)
- Title IX. Revenue Provisions
- Title X. Reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act
The provisions of the ACA are being phased in over four years. On October 1, 2013, open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace begins.
Role of Libraries
ALA Policy B.8.11, The Role of Libraries in Providing E-Government and Emergency Services (Old Number 50.16), states:
The American Library Association urges governments at all levels to acknowledge and support the essential role local libraries play in providing e-government and emergency response/recovery services, and to include libraries in relevant legislative or other policy actions. The American Library Association also encourages continued research documenting library needs and capacity to provide effective e-government and emergency response/recovery services, and help libraries develop best practices and train staff to deliver these essential services.
At the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and WebJunction, a program of OCLC, to assure that librarians have the information and connections with local experts needed to connect their patrons to information about the Health Insurance Marketplace when open enrollment begins October 1, 2013.
Also at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, the ALA Washington Office presented a panel presentation, “Libraries and Health Insurance: Preparing for Oct 1,” with representatives from IMLS, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, OCLC WebJunction, and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM), to present plans for making resources broadly available. The session was recorded; information on availability will be announced through the Washington Office’s District Dispatch.
American Library Association (ALA) President Barbara Stripling issued a statement about libraries and the Affordable Care Act.
Even more news: follow hashtag #libs4health on Twitter.
Key Resources from...
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- What Is the Health Insurance Marketplace?, designed for those assisting people with the applications. a new way to find health insurance coverage. With one application, you can see all your options and enroll.
- Health Insurance Marketplace, designed for professionals, including librarians, interested in learning about the Marketplace and helping people apply. The site includes PowerPoint presentations, fact sheets, brochures, talking points and more.
- A new 800 number you can call to get your Marketplace questions answered by a customer service representative, available 24/7: 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). On calling, you'll be welcomed to the Health Insurance Marketplace and asked to give your state, as some states have state-sponsored marketplaces.
- eHealth, a project by WebJunction to provide information to the library community regarding opportunities and resources to connect patrons to health and wellness information
- Sign-up opportunity for anyone interested in receiving project activity updates, new online resources, webinar registrations and archived webinar recordings from WebJunction;
- FAQs for library staff with more information about WebJunction resources and the Health Insurance Marketplace;
- Webinars, both upcoming and archives of those already held;
- Info widgets for library websites, which will lead users directly to U.S. government information, available in English and in Spanish.
- Get Covered America, a non-partisan, nonprofit, nonpartisan campaign of Enroll America focused on raising public awareness and engaging consumers about the new health insurance available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, including discussion papers, such as "Let's Ask 4:Questions for Consumers and Providers About Health Insurance."
- "The New Health Care Law and You," a 22-page brochure outlining options and sources of more information prepared by members of the Institute of Medicine's Health Literacy Roundtable. (PDF, accessed July 31, 2013)
- Kaiser Family Foundation. Information on Health Insurance Marketplaces, as well as a Subsidy Calculator. (Accessed September 23, 2013)
- MedlinePlus, administered by the US National Institutes of Health, which presents information on medicine and healthcare in easy-to-understand language.
- National Network of Libraries of Medicine regional centers offer general health reference materials, as well as dedicated ACA pages, which may have more specific local information:
- Map of NN/LM regions, with links to individual offerings (all accessed Sept. 18, 2013)
- Greater Midwest Region ACA page
- MidContinental Region ACA page
- Middle Atlantic Region ACA page
- New England Region ACA page
- Pacific Northwest Region ACA page
- Pacific Southwest Region ACA page
- South Central Region ACA page
- Southeastern/Atlantci Region ACA page
Sample ACA Information Pages Developed by Libraries for the Public
- Albert Wisner Public Library (Warwick, NY) - State information, calendar of events
- Oakland (CA) Public Library - Links to resources, calendar of events
- Topeka & Shawnee County (KS) Public Library - Local resources, calendar listing computer skills classes, videos
See also Health Information in Libraries
Last updated November 14, 2013