NCompass Live: Affordable Care Act Resources for Libraries


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Health Care Insurance Open Enrollment, the next phase of the Affordable Care Act, is fast approaching: October 1st! In this segment about the Affordable Care Act, Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian at the Nebraska Library Commission, will provide updates to new ACA information websites, organizations, and materials to help you, your library, and your patrons continue to prepare for this event.

NCompass Live - Sept. 4, 2013.

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  • Example: Lincoln Medical Education Partnership.   Gillespie said her members were very interested in partnering with the library to provide Navigators and informational sessions regarding the ACA.
  • NCompass Live: Affordable Care Act Resources for Libraries

    2. 2.  Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way to find health coverage that fits everyone’s budget and needs. With one application, patrons can see all of the health plan options and enroll. They can compare plans based on price, benefits, quality, and other important features before making a choice. They’ll also find out if they can get lower costs on their monthly premiums for private insurance plans. They can find out if they qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs. The Marketplace will also tell them if they qualify for low-cost, or free, coverage available through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Starting October 1st, 2013, the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the health insurance "exchange" will begin Open Enrollment. Plans and prices will be available then. Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014. Open Enrollment ends March 31st, 2014. To receive coverage by January 1, enrollment must be completed by December 15.  The Marketplace website, will be the primary tool for delivering information to patrons about their health coverage options. For Spanish speaking consumers, is also available, as well as 12 other languages.  Patrons will be able to apply online, by mail, phone, or in-person – just like taxes, online is preferred. If patrons apply online--again, just like taxes--they will find out much sooner about their acceptance.  Starting in 2014, if consumers do not have some type of health insurance, they might pay a
    3. 3.  Attend webinars or view archived sessions. All librarians and front line service associates should attend or view at least one. (Like this one!)  Add a widget or badge to your website directing patrons to the Health Insurance Marketplace  If you have research databases/websites available through your library’s website, add  Print out and provide Fact sheets to patrons  Get Ready to Enroll in the Marketplace  Things to Think about When Choosing a Health Plan
    4. 4.  Partner with community organizations (like AARP, the local health department, Community Action, etc.) to schedule and present Affordable Care Act and Health Insurance Marketplace programs in the library or other community locations.  Print out patron handouts and post announcements about the programs by doors and on the library website. Make the information easy to find on the website.  Create A “One-Stop-Shopping” display of announcements and handouts, including contact information for local area navigator organizations and health center counselors.  Post basic information sheets in the library’s public computer areas.  Consider having a librarian (or two) get training as an Application Assistor, or a Certified Application Counselor.  Take brochures, fact sheets, and other materials to other events in the community, including public service radio announcements and newpaper articles about public forums.  Customize handouts with your library’s logo.
    5. 5.  Navigator organizations:  Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Niobrara (402) 857-3391  Community Action of Nebraska  Northeast Pender (402) 385-6300  Eastern Omaha (402) 453-5656  Southeast Humboldt (402) 862-2411  Lancaster/Saunders Lincoln (402) 471-4515  Blue Valley Fairbury (402) 729-2278  Central Loup City (308) 745-0780  Mid Nebraska Kearney (308) 865-5675  Northwest Chadron (308) 432-3393  Western Gering (308) 635-3089
    6. 6.  Health Centers:  PANHANDLE COMMUNITY SERVICES – Gering  (308) 635-3089  EAST-CENTRAL DISTRICT HEALTH DEPARTMENT – Columbus  (402) 563-9224  NORFOLK COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE CLINIC, INC. – Norfolk  (402) 644-7314  PEOPLE'S HEALTH CENTER – Lincoln  (402) 476-1640  CHARLES DREW HEALTH CENTER, INC. – Omaha  (402) 457-1200  ONEWORLD COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS, INC. – Omaha  (402) 734-4110
    7. 7.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (largest provider in Nebraska)  Coventry Health Care of Bethesda, Md. (already doing business in Nebraska)  CoOportunity (cooperative health care provider in Iowa)  Health Alliance Midwest Inc. (a managed care company from Urbana, Ill.)
    8. 8.  First, remember that questions about health care are like taxes and legal issues: we help patrons find the information without giving them advice.  Second, as leading providers of Internet access and computer literacy training for people who lack Internet resources at home, libraries can anticipate higher demand for computer services.  Patrons can get help with Enrollment in several ways:  Online chat –  Call 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)  Navigators -- Unbiased individuals or organizations trained to help consumers, small businesses, and their employees as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. Their services are free to consumers.  Certified Application Counselors – very similar to Navigators, but through community health centers or other health care providers.  Application Assistors – Can assist with enrollment, but not as extensively trained  Insurance agents and brokers can also help you with your application and choices.
    9. 9.  – Insurance Market/Exchange  -- Under “Get Official Resources”: further reading, printable fact sheets, logos and widgets  Nebraska Department of Insurance ACA – Information for consumers, health care providers, agents and navigators, companies, and small businesses.  American Library Association -- includes an outline of ACA, the role of libraries and a list of resources.  Webjunction – overview, webinars, what other libraries are doing.  AARP – General Affordable Care Act information.  AARP Nebraska – State office contact information.  MedlinePlus – ACA, Health Insurance information.
    10. 10.  The League of Women Voters of Lincoln-Lancaster County and AARP Nebraska  Will host a panel discussion about the Affordable Care Act. Panelists will discuss what the health care law means for Nebraskans and how people can obtain health coverage. Speakers include Mark Intermill, advocacy director with AARP Nebraska and Jerusha Hancock, health care access attorney with Nebraska Appleseed. A question-and-answer session will follow the panel presentation.  Wednesday, September 11, 2013 7-9 PM Unitarian Church, 6300 A St., Lincoln  Omaha Public Library  The Affordable Care Act: Small Businesses & the Self-Employed  Learn the details you need to make informed decisions about the Affordable Care Act. This presentation will be geared towards small businesses and the self-employed with plenty of time to answer questions. Sign up by clicking on the appropriate hyperlink below.  THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: SMALL BUSINESSES & THE SELF-EMPLOYED Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 Start Time: 6:30 PM Library: Saddlebrook Branch
    11. 11. Community Forums on the Health Insurance Marketplace co-sponsored by the Community Health Endowment and the Lancaster County Medical Society. Pre-registration is not required. Attend one of the free sessions listed below that will discuss: Health Insurance Marketplace – What is it? What Insurance Plans are available? Subsidies – What are they and do I qualify? Enrollment – How do I enroll? Thursday, September 19, 2013 3:30 pm Lincoln Medical Education Partnership 4600 Valley Rd, #225 ( Classroom 1) Thursday, September 19, 2013 6:30 pm Center for People in Need 3901 North 27th, Conference Center Enter through Door #3 on south side of building. Monday, September 23, 2013 6:30 pm Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center 555 South 70th Lower Level, Rose/Franciscan Room
    12. 12. Mary Sauers Government & Information Services Librarian Nebraska Library Commission The Atrium Suite 120 1200 N Street Lincoln, NE 68508-2023 (402) 471-4017