Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) https://www.cantwell.senate.gov introduced legislation to bring lower cost and higher quality health insurance to more Americans in the individual health insurance market. This bill would expand the “Basic Health Program” (BHP), an option through the Affordable Care Act.
The legislation, “Basic Health Program Expansion Act of 2018” (S 3485) would offer states the option to expand eligibility for Basic Health Programs to the same income level as their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility line which varies by state. The legislation would also authorize states to use federal BHP money for up to one year to develop and implement a new BHP program,
New York and Minnesota have already used the BHP with success. Individual New Yorkers in the state’s BHP save an average of more than $1,000 in healthcare costs each year while Minnesotans have saved as much as $552 per year in healthcare costs. The program has also helped New York provide coverage to more than 738,000 people which has saved the state more than $1 billion in budget costs.