Connecting Communities with Health Insurance: Public Libraries and the Affordable Care Act


  • Jennifer Lynn Rembold Jeffersonville Township Public Library


Health insurance -- United States, Health insurance -- Law and legislation -- United States, Health -- Information resources, Public services (Libraries), Library science -- Societies, etc.


The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the creation of the Health Insurance Marketplace have produced new ways for Indiana public libraries to serve their communities. While the ACA is controversial, libraries have a long-standing commitment to providing access to and information about government services, and the ACA falls squarely within that mission. The Jeffersonville Township Public Library (JTPL) realized that patrons in their service area required assistance deciphering the ACA and applying for health insurance through the Marketplace.  JTPL decided to provide a range of programs to assist their patrons, including informational sessions about the ACA and appointments with a library staff member who is an Indiana Navigator and Federal Certified Application Counselor. This paper examines the unique opportunity Indiana public libraries have to connect their communities with information about health insurance through the ACA, the method of designing and implementing ACA-focused programs, and lessons learned from JTPL’s experiences.