With the enrollment period for the initial public activity under the Affordable Care Act less than two months away, librarians need to be sure we are staying alert to related news from both federal and state governments. One easy first step is to make sure you are subscribing to notifications from HealthCare.gov. An email subscription won't bring an avalanche of puff pieces; instead it can give us the opportunity to see what portals have been developed for Americans to use to enter the Health Insurance Marketplace, enrollment in which opens October 1.
If you're in California, there's already a quick link from the Marketplace landing page to Covered California, the access point for all Californians to use when entering the Marketplace. The Covered California site already is built out to a degree that we should be getting familiar with it right now, not next month or (*shudder*) when our community members start asking for details. Start with the Fact Sheet and consider linking to it from your library's home page as a demonstration of not only the library's preparedness but also as a reminder to site visitors that it's already time to start pulling together the information they will need to enroll.
Here at Infopeople, we have several projects in the works, that are going to roll out starting this month, to help with library planning around understanding how the Affordable Care Act relies on our public library staffs to make a difference in the quality of life everyone in our communities experiences. So, at the same time that you subscribe to HealthCare.gov, you might want to start following Infopeople on Twitter (@infotweets), like us on Facebook, and subscribe to the Infopeople Project's Training Calendar. We are going to be producing a lot of information quickly--all of it aimed at helping you help the folks who rely on you for good healthcare and insurance information and public computer access, two all important aspects of our defined work come October 1.