America’s Essential Hospitals submitted comments Nov. 25 on the Basic Health Program (BHP) proposed rule. States may implement a BHP to provide an optional coverage program for people who are not eligible for Medicaid. Those eligible for the BHP would not be eligible to purchase coverage through the health insurance marketplaces (exchanges). The proposed rule established a framework for several BHP elements including eligibility, enrollment, and delivery of health care services. America’s Essential Hospitals supports the proposals to make the BHP an entitlement and to prohibit caps on enrollment. The association also supports the proposal to allow health care provider groups to create standard health plans as part of the BHP.
However, America’s Essential Hospitals expressed concern that the proposal may not guarantee essential community providers will be included in BHP networks, which may prevent vulnerable patients from accessing care. The association also recommends the BHP use a continuous enrollment model to ensure individuals can sign up for coverage at any time.