Twenty-One public libraries awarded funding to encourage Affordable Care Act enrollment

For Immediate Release
Mon, 09/14/2020


Leighann Wood

Program Manager

Public Library Association

American Library Association

CHICAGO – Through its health insurance enrollment and education initiative, Libraries Connecting You to Coverage, the Public Library Association (PLA) is encouraging enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace for 2021. Today, PLA announced it will award $1,000 and $2,000 contracts to 21 public libraries across the U.S. to advance this work. Awardee libraries will disseminate information, provide education, partner with health insurance enrollment and provider groups, and encourage community members to enroll in the Marketplace during the ACA Open Enrollment Period. New this year, several awardee libraries will become Certified Application Counselor Designated Organizations (CDOs). CDOs can certify and train staff and/or volunteers as Certified Application Counselors (CACs) who will work directly with community members to assist with health insurance options during the Open Enrollment period and Special Enrollment periods.  For consumers in states that utilize the federal marketplace platform,, open enrollment begins Nov. 1, 2020, and ends Dec. 15, 2020. 

The following libraries have been awarded funding to become Certified Application Counselor Designated Organizations and promote the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment.

  1. Camp Verde (Az.) Community Library
  2. Birmingham (Al.) Public Library, Central Library
  3. Conyers-Rockdale (Ga.) Library System
  4. Delray Beach (Fl.) Public Library
  5. Gadsden (Al.) Public Library
  6. Jeff Davis County Library (Fort Davis, Tx.)
  7. Moore Memorial Public Library (Texas City, Tx.)
  8. Mooresville (N.C.)  Public Library
  9. North Miami (Fl.) Public Library
  10. Piedmont (Ok.) Public Library
  11. Pike County (In.) Public Library
  12. Pottsboro Area (Tx.) Public Library
  13. Sarasota County (Fl.) Public Library
  14. Soldotna (Ak.) Public Library
  15. St. Joseph County (In.) Public Library, Keller Park Library
  16. Thomas County (Ga.) Public Library
  17. Tuttle (Ok.) Library
  18. University City (Mo.) Public Library
  19. Winslow (Az.) Public Library

The following libraries have been awarded funding to promote and build awareness of the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment period.

  1. Elizabeth (N.J.) Public Library, Main Library
  2. Johnson Public Library (Hackensack, N.J.)

Free tools and resources available

All public libraries -- especially those in states that utilize the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace -- are encouraged to take advantage of the free tools and resources PLA has compiled related to health insurance enrollment. Libraries can start or increase their efforts to educate and build awareness of coverage options, as well as the option of enrolling in Medicaid or a Special Enrollment Period year-round. These efforts will help reach the uninsured, help improve health outcomes, and reduce medical costs for patrons. 

As part of its ongoing work to support the public library’s role in creating healthy communities, PLA has partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Community Catalyst to counteract obstacles to ACA enrollment. Questions about the initiative and grants may be directed to Leighann Wood, PLA Program Manager, at or 312-280-5867 or Symone Villasenor, PLA Project Manager, at or 312-280-5018.

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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