Libraries and New Health Care Laws

"Health Care" by Jerry Wang, the Noun Project CC By 3.0
“Health Care” by Jerry Wang, the Noun Project CC By 3.0

Starting today, consumers in all states will be able to choose new affordable health insurance options through the new Health Insurance Marketplace.  The following organizations received money from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to serve as Navigators, “in-person resources for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans”, in Michigan: Community Bridges Management Inc., Arab Community Center for Economic & Social ServicesAmerican Indian Health & Family Services of SE Michigan, Inc., and Michigan Consumers for Healthcare.

As a library serving the U-M campus and surrounding community, the library’s blog is a place to provide the public with access to information.  Libraries, like THL, may receive queries about these new options.

“Although the role of libraries seems clear to most in such a rollout—the neutral provision of information and resources about ACA to those who need it—some critics aired concerns that libraries were being used as pawns to advance a partisan agenda.” (American Libraries Magazine)

American Library Association President Barbara Stripling issued a statement in July 2013 about how libraries will respond to inquiries about the Affordable Care Act:

“The American Library Association and other groups are working to be sure librarians and the public are aware of information on the new law.

Just as our communities turn to libraries for help to learn about citizenship and passport requirements, use public access computers to get disaster relief information and obtain assistance with copyright and patent questions, we expect libraries will receive many inquiries from the public about the Affordable Care Act.

Decisions about how libraries will respond to inquiries about the ACA will be made by local libraries. As always, libraries do not promote specific programs or points of view, but provide the public with balanced, unbiased access to information.”

With more specific questions about how the ACA affects you, please refer to the following resources: University of Michigan Record Update, and the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.

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