Will offer funding for public libraries to connect consumers to coverage
CHICAGO – After a successful first year in which 92 public libraries participated, the Public Library Association (PLA) is proud to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace for 2020. Through its health insurance enrollment and education initiative, Libraries Connecting You to Coverage, PLA is offering mini-grants of $500 to support up to 100 U.S. public libraries. Awardees will disseminate information, provide education, partner with health insurance enrollment and provider groups, and encourage community members to enroll in the Marketplace during the Open Enrollment Period.
As part of its ongoing work to support the public library’s role in creating healthy communities, PLA has partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Community Catalyst to counteract obstacles to ACA enrollment. Both the amount of funding and the number of organizations certified to provide enrollment assistance services have been cut significantly by the federal government in recent years. People who receive in-person assistance are almost 60 percent more likely to enroll, and public libraries are well positioned to fill the gaps by supporting patron’s efforts to do so.
“Libraries have an opportunity to advance their work in equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice by helping reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health coverage,” explains PLA Executive Director Barb Macikas. “Together we can provide education and support to help all members of our communities understand and take advantage of their rights.”
To apply for a PLA mini-grant for the 2020 Open Enrollment Period, please click here. Priority will be given to applicants in states that utilize the federal marketplace platform or the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM). Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. Applicants will be notified of their funding status in early October.
For consumers in states that utilize the federal marketplace platform, healthcare.gov, open enrollment begins Nov. 1, 2019, and ends Dec. 15, 2019. Dates and enrollment periods may differ in the 23 states operating in partnership with the federal government (Partnership), that use a State-based Marketplace that uses the federal platform (SBM-FP) or a State-based Marketplace (SBM). PLA also is providing all libraries with tips and tools to make educating communities easy, including free resources and communication assets found here.
Questions about the initiative and grants may be directed to Leighann Wood, PLA program manager, at [email protected] or 312-280-5867.
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The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or [email protected].