Health Happens in Libraries

Libraries and the Health Insurance Marketplace

This guide has been designed to support library professionals in creating a locally relevant approach to responding to Affordable Care Act (ACA) information requests in their communities, specifically, those related to the health insurance marketplace for individuals and families to apply for health coverage. It has been informed by state and public library input, and is intended for use by libraries in all states, regardless of the marketplace operating in their state. The primary goals of this guide are to connect library staff to reliable ACA marketplace resources, and to provide library staff with practical actions they can take to make these resources meaningful in their communities, particularly during key enrollment periods (see relevant dates and deadlines here). While much of the guide is focused on the ACA marketplace, many of the resources and recommended actions are also applicable to developing library capacity for broader health information services. The main sections of this guide include:

Affordable Care Act 101

This section provides a brief overview of the ways that the ACA marketplace impacts library services most directly. It includes best practices for exploring patron needs and connecting them to the right resources, and reviewing and establishing basic service level policies.

Community Assessment

This section provides library staff with actions and resources to identify the basic local health infrastructure supporting their community. It also includes information on how to access community health and demographic data.

Partner Engagement

This section provides guidance and tools for libraries to identify and engage qualified ACA marketplace partners in a mutually reinforcing manner.

Telling Your Library’s Story

This section provides resources for libraries to reference for internally identifying the story of their impact as ACA marketplace information providers in their communities, and for sharing that story externally in a compelling manner.