Basic Health Program (Affordable Care Act)


Section 1331 of the Affordable Care Act gives states the option of creating a Basic Health Program (BHP), a health benefits coverage program for low-income residents who would otherwise be eligible to purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The program is for specified individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid but whose income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
A - Formula Grants; G - Insurance
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Section 1331 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (Pub. L. 111-148), and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111.152, enacted March 30, 2010) which are collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Any State that submits a BHP Blueprint may be considered for certification by the Secretary of HHS.
Beneficiary Eligibility
The program is for specified individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid but whose income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).
The BHP Blueprint is a comprehensive written document submitted by the state to the Secretary for certification of a BHP in the form and manner specified by HHS. The Blueprint will establish compliance with applicable requirements by including a description, or if applicable, an assurance of: (1) minimum benefits offered including essential health benefits; (2) the competitive process that the state will undertake to contract for the provision of standard health plans; (3) the standard contract requirements that the State will incorporate into its standard health plan contracts; (4) the methods by which the State will enhance the availability of standard health plan coverage; (5) the methods by which the state will ensure and promote coordination with other insurance affordability programs; (6) the premium standards; (7) the cost sharing imposed under the BHP; (8) the disenrollment procedures and consequences of nonpayment of premiums; (9) the standards used to determine eligibility for the program; (10) the state's policies regarding enrollment, disenrollment and verification, along with a plan to ensure coordination with and eliminate gaps in coverage for individuals transitioning to other insurance affordability programs; (11) the fiscal policies and accountability procedures; (12) the process by which BHP trust fund trustees shall be appointed, the qualifications and responsibilities of such trustees, and any arrangements to insure or indemnify such trustees against claims or breaches of their fiduciary responsibilities; (13) a description of how the state will ensure program integrity; (14) an operational assessment establishing operating agency readiness; (15) a transition plan if a state participating in 2015 plans to propose an alternative enrollment strategy for initial implementation. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Award Procedure
The Secretary will certify a BHP Blueprint provided it meets all of the following standards: (1) The Blueprint contains sufficient information for the Secretary to determine that the BHP will comply with the requirements of section 1331 of the Affordable Care Act and Part 600 of 42 CFR; (2) The BHP Blueprint demonstrates adequate planning for the integration of BHP with other insurance affordability programs in a manner that will permit a seamless, coordinated experience for a potentially eligible individual; (3) The Blueprint is a complete and comprehensive description of the BHP and its operations, demonstrating thorough planning and a concrete program design, without reserved decisions on operational features.
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
The Blueprint should be submitted with enrollment data and premium information at least 6 weeks prior to effective date requested.
Not applicable.
In the event that a State seeks to make significant changes that alter program operations, the BHP benefit package, enrollment, disenrollment and verification policies described in the certified BHP Blueprint, the state must submit a revised Blueprint to the Secretary for review and certification. The State is responsible for continuing to operate under the terms of the existing certified Blueprint until and unless a revised Blueprint is certified.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
The federal BHP payment is made to a state trust fund for BHP. Funds in the state trust fund may not be used for any purposes other than paying BHP benefits and reducing premiums and cost-sharing for eligible individuals enrolled in BHP standard health plans. BHP Trust funds may not be expended for any purpose other than those specified above. In addition, BHP trust funds may not be used for purposes including bu t not limited to: (1) determining the amount of non-federal funds for the purposes of meeting matching or expenditure for federal funding; (2) program administration of BHP or any other program; (3) payment to providers not associated with BHP services or requirements; or (4) coverage for individuals not eligible for BHP.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: To determine whether the State is complying with the Federal requiremetns and the provisions of its BHP Blueprint, HHS may review, as needed, but no less frequently than annually, the compliance of the State with applicable laws, regulations and interpretive guidance.
Not applicable.
a) Maintain an accounting system and supporting fiscal records to assure that the BHP trust funds are maintained and expended in accord with the applicable federal requirements such as OMB Circulars A-87 and A-133. (b) Obtain an annual certification from the BHP trustees, the state's chief financial officer, or designee, certifying all of the following: (1) the state's BHP trust fund financial statement for the fiscal year; (2) The BHP trust funds are not being used as non-federal share for purposes of meeting any matching of expenditure requirement of any federally-funded program; (3) the use of BHP trust funds is in accordance with federal requirements consistent with those specified for the administration and provision of the program. (c) Conduct an independent audit of BHP trust fund expenditures over a 3 year period to determine that expenditures made in 3 year period were allowable; (d) Publish annual reports on the use of funds, including a separate line item that tracks the use of funds to further reduce premiums and cost sharing or for the provision of additional benefits within 10 days of approval by the trustees and findings of audit conducted under (c) above if applicable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
N/A Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Quarterly.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Contact the Associate Regional Administrator, Division of Medicaid, Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey & Certification. (See Appendix IV of the Catalog for addresses and telephone numbers.).
Headquarters Office
Kelly Whitener
7500 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21244 US
Phone: 410-786-0719
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Formula Grants) FY 18$4,767,350,945.00; FY 19 est $5,372,550,988.00; FY 20 est $5,686,754,253.00; FY 17$4,329,752,585.00; FY 16$2,823,560,855.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
N/A - based on formula of state-specific data.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


Federal Grants Resources