Libraries and HealthCare.gov
Starting October 1, 2013, the Health Insurance Marketplace, sometimes known as the health insurance "exchange" will begin Open enrollment. Coverage starts January 1, 2014.
The Marketplace website, HealthCare.gov will be the primary tool for delivering information to Americans about their health coverage options. As prominent providers of Internet access and digital literacy training for people who lack Internet connections at home, libraries can anticipate intensified demand for computer services. For Spanish speaking consumers, CuidadoDeSalud.gov is also available.
Health Insurance Marketplaces are where people and small businesses can shop for and buy private health insurance. Consumers will have the same health plan choices available to members of Congress. The marketplaces are not private insurance companies or government-run health plans.
With one application, consumers can find out if they qualify for health plans in the marketplace, and other programs like Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), tax credits, and cost-sharing reductions.
What can Kansas libraries do right now to prepare?
Training Materials and Presentations
- Plan to attend a webinar or view an archived session
- Add a widget or badge to your website directing patrons to the Health Insurance Marketplace
- Print out and provide Fact sheets to patron
- Libraries & Health Insurance: Preparing for October 1 (WebJunction)
- Meaningful Use: Libraries connecting patrons to ACA resources (WebJunction)
Librarian specific webinars have been scheduled for the following dates and times:
- Tuesday, August 20, 2:00 pm - HealthCare.gov Marketplace
- Tuesday, August 27, 2:00 pm - Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace
- Tuesday, September 17, 2:00 pm - Demonstration of website
Patron specific webinars have been scheduled for the following dates and times (additional times and dates may be added):
- Thursday, August 22, 7:00 pm - Overview of the Affordable Care Act
- Thursday, September 12, 7: 00 pm - HealthCare.gov Marketplace
- Thursday, September 26, 7:00 pm - Demonstration of website
The State Library of Kansas (SLK) arranged for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to Partner with Libraries and presented a series of webinars specifically for Kansas librarians and also a separate series of webinars for Kansas library patrons. These webinars were held within the Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing software like other SLK events.
The patron specific webinars will also be held within Blackboard Collaborate and are to be provided to patrons in the format of a "watch party". Libraries were encouraged to host a watch party and spread the word regarding these events. Patrons may view archives of these sessions on-demand by visiting
The role of Kansas librarians, as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is to assist patrons in locating the Health Insurance Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov and provide appropriate assistance in accordance with the Code of Ethics and local interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
- Find Local Help (by City and State or Zip Code)- https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/
- HealthCare.gov Help Center- individuals
- Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace Help Center- small business owners
- Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tax Provisions- IRS (Internal Revenue Service) www.irs.gov/aca
- Department of Labor - Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/
- Model Notice to Employees >scroll down to "People are asking"
- Model Notice to Employees >scroll down to "People are asking"
- Health and Human Services http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/
- Small Business Adminsitration (SBA) http://www.sba.gov/healthcare
- KS Insurance Department- insureKS.org is an animated tutorial and a premium estimator that consumers can use to see how much they can expect to pay for coverage and what they may qualify for in federal subsidies.
- Navigators (not library staff)
Navigators have a vital role in helping consumers prepare electronic and paper applications to establish eligibility and enroll in coverage through the Marketplaces and potentially qualify for an insurance affordability program. They also provide outreach and education to raise awareness about the Marketplace, and refer consumers to health insurance ombudsman and consumer assistance programs when necessary. Navigators play a role in all types of Marketplaces, are funded through state and federal grant programs, and must complete comprehensive training.
On August 15, 2013, CMS awarded $67 million in Navigator Cooperative Agreements to 105 entities to serve in the 34 Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces. Navigator Grant Recipients KAMU Navigator Sites http://insureks.org/kamu_navigator.php
- Certified Application Counselors
The Federally-facilitated Marketplace will designate organizations to certify application counselors who perform many of the same functions as Navigators and non-Navigator assistance personnel-including educating consumers and helping them complete an application for coverage. These groups might include community health centers or other health care providers, hospitals, or social service agencies. http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2013tables/outreachandenrollment/ks.html
- Agents and Brokers
CMS expects agents and brokers to play a key role in the new Marketplaces. To the extent permitted by states, agents and brokers will play an important role in educating consumers about Marketplaces and insurance affordability programs, and in helping consumers receive eligibility determinations, apply for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, compare plans, and enroll in coverage. In particular, CMS anticipates that agents and brokers will play a critical role in helping qualified employers and employees enroll in coverage through the Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOPs). We anticipate that many consumers will want to obtain professional advice from agents and brokers when applying for and selecting a qualified health plan. http://www.ksinsurance.org/consumers/companysearch.htm
Libraries are being asked to make use of official resources available to Partners.
- Website widgets and badges- it is recommended that these be added to your libraries website.
- "Drop-in articles" are available are can be used in newsletters, etc.
- For CMS statistical purposes please fill out the following survey to provide 1) population served 2) name of website in which you added a badge or widget and 3) name of the publication you placed a "drop-in article"
- Additional training materials for Partners & on-demand presentations for those interested can be viewed at http://marketplace.cms.gov/training/get-training.html. These resources include an Overview of the Health Insurance Marketplace, The Health Insurance Marketplace 101 and the Overview of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace.
- Also available is the HealthCare.gov YouTube channel
- Partners section of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Marketplace website http://marketplace.cms.gov/index.html
- CMS eHealth website http://www.cms.gov/eHealth/index.html
- WebJunction eHealth resources https://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/ehealth.html
- AARP has announced that it has made audio recordings to help people better understand the health care law and the new Health Insurance Marketplace. The audio files can be found in English at www.aarp.org/HealthLawAudio and in Spanish at www.aarp.org/LeyDeSaludVoces. Listen to facts about new benefits and protections for people with Medicare, core benefits included in all new insurance plans, free or low-cost preventive services, and getting insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
- The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to Partner with Libraries. Read July 1 Press Release
- IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
- CMS is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CMS is the federal agency which administers Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Provides information for health professionals, regional governments, and consumers. Additional information regarding CMS and its programs is available at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/.