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The latest word(s) on healthcare insurance

There are six more weeks for Californians to enroll in the healthcare insurance marketplace during this initial open enrollment period. Now seems a good checkup time for public libraries to evaluate how well we have provided information and technology access to this Affordable Care Act program.

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(Almost) everybody's doin' it

With the initial (but only initial, folks!) deadline for Covered California health insurance marketplace registration upon us next week, there has been much ado about information gathering, the Affordble Care Act, and public libraries. Thanks to the 82 who responded to Infopeople's own survey of California public library activities related to the Affordable Care Act, we can see ourselves in the national context.

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How your library may be missing a great advocacy opportunity

Earlier this week, I met with representatives of WebJunction and ZeroDivide to discuss how public libraries both in California and around the nation are responding to the element of the Affordable Care Act that legislates the initial enrollment period in health insurance marketplaces. Among the details we learned from each other is that the California library pattern, to date, mirrors the national one: there has been a clear tendency to leave the heavy lifting of informing communities about registration to non-library agencies.

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Important news releases from California's health insurance exchange

Three announcements today from the state's Affordable Care Act-mandated health insurance exchange, Covered California (coveredca.com) require the attention of all library staff providing accurate and authoritative information to their communities: 1. When the website for the exchange comes back online Monday morning, November 25 (It was previously announced and noted here that the site will be down for an upgrade from Friday night, November 22, until early Monday morning), the agency will also have a new phone hotline to help with complicated consumer questions.

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What's Covered California doing that you need to know

In the past four or five days, a couple of pieces of information have developed around Covered California projects. The first is relatively easy to reference and encapsulate and certainly has the most immediate impact on public lbraries (as well as on anyone else seeking to access Covered California's website):

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Prepare to document your library's value

The initial health insurance open enrollment period, a key component of the Affordable Care Act, provides an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the meaningful role public libraries serve in their communities. By documenting the work your public library undertakes on behalf of assisting its community in connecting to the information and access points they need related to the Affordable Care Act, you can build the profile of public libraries in general as well as become more visible as a local community resource.

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