Affordable Care Act

New in This Guide

Open enrollment began October 1, 2013, for the new health insurance marketplace created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as "Obamacare".

Use this guide for resources about enrolling and to help you find information about ACA for class projects.

Contact your subject librarian or the reference librarians if you need more help. For an overview of how to research efficiently, see Steps of the Research Process.


Enrolling in the New Health Insurance Program

Covered California is the website you go to to find out about California's health insurance marketplace and to enroll. Factsheets are available in Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, Hmong, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. is the federal government's website for consumers about how to enroll in the health insurance marketplace for your state.

San Francisco Public Library's schedule of workshops about the new health insurance exchange.

More about the Health Insurance Marketplace and ACA

Obamacare Explained, San Francisco public broadcasting network KQED's website about ACA, in English and Spanish.

California Department of Managed Health Care's list of resources about ACA and the new health insurance marketplace.

U.S Department of Healthe and Human Services (HHS) ACA timeline of implementation of important parts of the law, fact sheets, and information for specific states.

California Department of Insurance's page on health care reform and the stages of implementation of ACA.

California Health Benefit Exchange is the organization to manage California's health insurance marketplace created because of ACA. Find meeting minutes of their board of directors, press releases, regulations and federal guidance for the health insurance marektplace.

Index to the full text of the Affordable Care Act, with a link to the June 28, 2012, Supreme Court decision on ACA, from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Finding Materials in the Library

Search CityCat to find books, e-books, disks and more. There are many ways to search, such as Title, Author and Keyword.

Books in the library are organized by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system which groups items by subject, so you can often simply browse the shelves. Here are some relevant subjects and their call numbers:

Health care reform    RA 395
Economics of medical care and medical care coverage    RA 410-416



Use databases for specialized and the most up-to-date information, especially academic (scholarly) sources that are not available for free on the Web. See the Articles & Databases page for a full list of databases available.

CINAHL Plus with Full Text (EBSCO)
Good source of full text for nursing & allied health journals, providing full text for more than 750 journals indexed in the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature.

Consumer Health Complete (EBSCO)
"Consumer-oriented health content ... designed to support patients' information needs and foster an overall understanding of health-related topics.... Covers all areas of health and wellness from mainstream medicine to the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated medicine. Updated on a weekly basis."

Health and Wellness Resource Center (Gale) 
Provides trusted medical reference materials, including nearly 400 health/medical journals, numerous reference volumes, and over 700 health videos.

Health Reference Center Academic (Gale)
Multi-source database provides access to the full text of nursing and allied health journals, plus the wide variety of personal health information sources.