Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Reform) and Multicultural Populations cont.

Dec 18, 12 Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Reform) and Multicultural Populations cont.

We continue our 12 part blog series on the Affordable Care Act and Multicultural Populations.   

Understanding Basic Health Programs – Part 5

By Martha C. Rivera, Director, Strategy and Insights, and Monica Martens, Junior Executive

Somewhere in between Medicaid and individual health coverage falls the state-established Basic Health Programs. A Basic Health Program (BHP) is for individuals whose income falls between 138-200% federal poverty level (FPL). The program exists in only some states but every state has the option to use federal funding to create a BHP. The purpose for its creation is for those individuals who are ineligible for Medicaid, but still too poor, to pay for insurance through an Exchange. They will also help maintain continuity for those whose income fluctuates above and below Medicaid, with hopes of continuity for the 42% of the Latinos who lack a usual health care provider. BHPs will also help increase the number of low-income individuals insured within a state.  It will also help bridge the gap between Medicaid and Exchange and help ease the transition between the two. However, critics have their complaints. BHPs will reduce the size of individuals within an Exchange by nearly 1/3. This, critics believe, will weaken purchasing power and decrease the financial base.

Look for Part 6 of our Affordable Care Act and Multicultural Populations in a future blog.

The Role of the Basic Health Program in the Coverage Continuum. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2011.

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