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As the American Library Association anticipated, many Americans have turned to their local libraries for assistance in accessing enrollment information and the recently rolled out Health Insurance Marketplace component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the ALA, “Our research shows that Americans regularly turn to their local libraries as a trusted resource for information regarding government initiatives and programs. A recent study showed that more than a third of library computer users (28 million people) use library computers and seek assistance from librarians for health and wellness issues, including learning about medical conditions, finding health care providers, and assessing health insurance options”  As librarians, we are encouraged by these numbers and look to provide ease of access to health related information.

Our Waukesha County Federated Library System responded to the need for health information by using LSTA grant funds to partner with the Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha, the Wisconsin DPI and other groups in order to offer a site by which users are able to read, watch or hear basic health information.  The Health Literacy Project’s searchable website is free and reached at this location: http://www.wcfls.org/health-literacy

Moving forward, the NBPL and member libraries also anticipate the need for patrons to obtain information about the ACA within our local communities. The main website for information has been provided by the government at www.healthcare.gov, but additional information is becoming available through other sources. Here are a few we recommend:

*A newsletter created and distributed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services offers available at: http://contentdc2.govdelivery.com/accounts/USCMSHIM/bulletins/8f601f allows user to search the plans available without logging into the www.healthcare.gov site.

*Author, Casey Capachi has written a piece for the Washington Post entitled, “Your Obamacare Questions Answered.”  This Q&A formatted article provides a non-political layman termed explanation to help you understand the specifics of the ACA.

Text: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/17/your-obamacare-questions-answered/?wpisrc=nl_wnkpm

Video link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/video/inplay/everything-to-know-about-obamacarein-2-minutes/2013/09/26/469ae328-26d5-11e3-b3e9-d97fb087acd6_video.html

*The Mukwonago Community Library will be hosting an informational program, “The Affordable Care Act:How does it affect me?”, on Thurs. Oct. 24th, 6:30-8pm at the Mukwonago Community Library, 511 Division Street, Mukwonago, WI 53149.  Here is a synopsis of the program:

"The Marketplace is opening. Do you know what it means for you and your family? Join us for a healthcare education seminar presented by Daren Allen, of the Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative.The seminar will help clarify the myths about healthcare reform, illustrate the actual structure of the new healthcare model, and show the benefits for individuals (under 65), non-profits, and small business owners. A full explanation of the Health Insurance Exchanges, or market places, will also be explored.” Registration is not required and more information is available by calling the MPL at  262-363-6411.

 

Thanks to our Library Board member Patti Orzel for providing these links.
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Natalie is the Deputy Director with the New Berlin Public Library... Read More »

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