Many people are learning that the library has a world of healthcare resources available. The library stocks books on a variety of medical topics like holistic medicine, exercise and nutrition. And we also strive to provide easy online access to the most current medical and health information.
On many people’s minds currently are questions and concerns about health insurance changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA.) HealthCare.gov is the online shopping site for finding and comparing health insurance plans and rates. It is linked from the library’s lab computers as well as our website under “Links” and “Medical/Mental Health.”
Just as the federal government closed down many services nationwide, HealthCare.gov opened for enrollment on October 1. As of this writing the website is at times still overwhelmed with applicants. The toll-free number 1-800-318-2596 is suggested as an alternative way to apply. Don’t overlook the “Live Chat” option which allows you to ask and get answers to your specific questions. The website promises applications will also be taken by mail.
Be aware of these important insurance marketplace dates: Oct 1 - Open enrollment began; Jan 1, 2014 - Earliest date coverage begins (if enrolled by Dec 15); Mar 31, 2014 - Open enrollment ends. If you haven’t done so, be sure to click on “Learn” from the Healthcare.gov menu, then choose from among many topics. Each topic includes commonly asked questions and answers. You can also find checklists to help you gather the information you'll need to begin the application process. If you choose to set up an account with HealthCare.gov, you may return another day, log in and continue the application process.
If you do not have current access to a computer, the library can help. Bring your library card or a photo ID. You’ll get up to two hours of computer time a day.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From the library's medical/mental health Links page, choose the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, an interactive tool to help estimate a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
Have you tried CHIRS? Consumer Health Information Resource, on the links page, offers free medical information to Nebraska residents. CHIRS is provided by the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s McGoogan Library of Medicine. If you can’t find what you need, submit a request by using the CHIRS Request Form, by sending an email or calling the toll-free number.
Retrieving the wealth of medical information available to all of us can seem overwhelming, even daunting. Library staff members are the real people who can help get you started in the right direction.