Reference

Resources for the Affordable Care Act

healthcarelogo

Public libraries will be fielding many questions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka “Obamacare”) in the months to come. Marketplace open enrollment starts October 1, and the ACA will be returning to the news in earnest. In fact, some of you have forwarded questions to the State Library Reference Desk already. We’ve begun compiling a list of links to help answer those questions. I’m sure we’ll be adding to this as we go along.

I’m going to include a wide variety of links, more than I would usually put in one article. Each unique library will need a different grouping. The full set of links is offered so you can look them over, and pick and choose what’s most helpful for you and your patrons.

To read the Act itself, and the Supreme Court ruling related to it, go here:

http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/rights/law/index.html

Main government information site for the general public and for small business owners (the most important site to know inside out, backwards and forwards):

https://www.healthcare.gov/

The same site in Spanish:

https://www.cuidadodesalud.gov/es/ 

Main information page from that site:

https://www.healthcare.gov/how-does-the-affordable-care-act-affect-me/

Key features of the law:

http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/rights/index.html

Key features by year, so you can see what kicks in when (please note that these may change!):

http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/timeline/timeline-text.html

Another timeline from Healthcare.gov:

https://www.healthcare.gov/what-key-dates-do-i-need-to-know/

New Mexico’s National Health Care Reform page is not very user-friendly at the moment, but I’d expect information more accessible for the general public to come along soon:

http://www.hsd.state.nm.us/nhcr/nhcrlao.htm

(This article was written last summer. Now we can add the links for New Mexico information and sign up:

http://www.nmhix.com/

http://bewellnm.com/ )

Fact sheets from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):

http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/factsheets/index.html

including How Does the Affordable Care Act Impact American Indians and Alaska Natives?

and The Affordable Care Act and Latinos

HHS State Facts Sheets:

http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/bystate/statebystate.html

HHS New Mexico State Fact Sheet:

http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/bystate/nm.html

ACA Tax Provision information from the IRS:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act-Tax-Provisions-Home

The Department of Labor’s ACA page, with important information for employers:

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/

Medicare’s ACA page:

http://www.medicare.gov/about-us/affordable-care-act/affordable-care-act.html

Medicaid’s ACA page:

http://www.medicaid.gov/affordablecareact/affordable-care-act.html

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid / Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight “is helping consumers appeal health plan decisions, understand the Consumer Assistance Program, and more easily understand and evaluate their health insurance choices.” Their ACA pages are unclear and hard to navigate; use the left-side menu for the best results. Please note that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are also responsible for Children’s Health Insurance Program.

http://www.cms.gov/cciio/index.html

or you might want to skip directly to their Fact Sheets and FAQs at:

http://www.cms.gov/cciio/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/index.html#Exchange

or to their report on the impact of national health care reform on American Indian and Alaska Native people:

http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/American-Indian-Alaska-Native/AIAN/Downloads/CMSHealthCareReform5202011.pdf

AARP has put together a nice group of fact sheets that will be popular with their members:

http://www.aarp.org/health/health-care-reform/health_reform_factsheets/

Many health plans and private companies are also creating fact sheets. I am not generally including such things here, but AARP’s reach is very broad, so I would recommend having this site bookmarked. They’ve been careful to  put together special fact sheets for different groups. These may be of particular interest:

What the Health Care Law Means for American Indians and Alaska Natives

What the Health Care Law Means for People in Rural Areas

What the Health Care Law Means for Hispanics and Latinos

The following resources are of special interest to libraries.

The American Library Association and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) have issued a press release on the important role libraries have to play in informaing the public about the ACA. It includes links to training opportunities and an FAQ:

http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2013/07/ala-imls-detail-affordable-care-act-resources-library-staff

WebJunction is starting an FAQ for librarians here:

http://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/ehealth/more-info.html

To get “official resources” for your library:

http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/get-official-resources.html

Even if you don’t order printed brochures, keep this page listing them handy. It links to materials you can print for your own use or for patrons as needed:

http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/publications-and-articles/publications-and-articles.html

Special materials for American Indians and Alaska Natives here:

http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/publications-and-articles/american-indian-and-alaska-native-publications.html

Spanish materials here:

http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/spanish-materials/spanish-materials.html

And materials in other foreign languages here:

http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/other-languages/other-languages-materials.html

 

 

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