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The Role of the Basic Health Program in the Coverage Continuum: Opportunities, Risks & Considerations for States

This brief assesses the potential benefits and drawbacks to states from implementing a Basic Health Program under the Affordable Care Act. The law gives states the option of creating a Basic Health Program, using federal tax money to subsidize insurance coverage for low-income residents who would otherwise be eligible to purchase coverage through a state exchange. Such a program would give states the ability to provide more affordable coverage for these low-income residents and improve continuity of care for people whose income fluctuates above and below Medicaid levels.

The brief discusses the potential impact of a Basic Health Program on the effectiveness of state exchanges and strategies to manage these effects. It also offers a framework for states looking to assess the financial feasibility of the Basic Health Program, highlighting key considerations in estimating the amount of federal funding they will receive and the costs of implementing the program.

Brief (.pdf)