The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a valuable government benefit that makes internet access more affordable. With so many American households relying on the ACP for connectivity, a common question is – how long will this program realistically last?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the ACP’s history, funding sources, 2024 projections, and long-term outlook. Read on for the latest details on what to expect from this vital internet discount program both next year and beyond.
A Brief History of the Affordable Connectivity Program
The ACP was launched in 2022 as a long-term replacement for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. While the EBB was created as a temporary response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACP takes a more forward-looking approach.
Here is a quick overview of how the ACP came to exist:
- March 2020 – COVID-19 causes widespread economic disruption, highlighting the importance of reliable internet access. However, many households struggle to afford service.
- December 2020 – The Consolidated Appropriations Act establishes the $3.2 billion EBB program to subsidize internet bills during the pandemic.
- 2021 – It becomes clear that a longer-term affordability solution is necessary as the pandemic persists.
- November 2021 – The Infrastructure Bill sets aside $14 billion to replace the EBB with the permanent Affordable Connectivity Program.
- 2022 – The ACP launches, providing up to a $30 monthly discount on internet service for eligible households. Adoption quickly scales to over 13 million households.
Now fully operational nationwide, the ACP is set to be a fixture of federal internet policy for the foreseeable future.
Where Does the Funding for the ACP Come From?
The Affordable Connectivity Program is funded via two Congressional appropriations tied to infrastructure/connectivity initiatives:
1. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021
- Allocated $3.2 billion to the EBB
- Funds carried over to the ACP after the EBB ended
- Portion already spent on over 12 months of EBB subsidies
2. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
- Added $14 billion in additional funding when creating the ACP
- Brings the ACP’s total budget to over $17 billion
Currently, no other funding sources have been defined for the program. Unlike Universal Service programs like Lifeline or E-Rate, the ACP does not draw from fees on telecom carrier revenues.
How Many Years Will the ACP Last at Current Rates?
Projecting how long a program like the ACP can last is challenging. Factors like household eligibility levels, changing internet prices, and economic shifts all impact lifespan projections.
However,Affordable Connectivity Program latest analyst estimates suggest that at current adoption rates, the ACP’s funding could sustain it for another 4-6 years – bringing the projected end date to 2026 or 2028.
Here’s a breakdown of the key assumptions behind these lifespan estimates:
- Current ACP enrollment sits around 13.3 million U.S. households
- Primarily consists of prior Emergency Broadband Benefit recipients
- Approaching Congressional Budget Office 10-year enrollment estimate of 13.56 million
- Average ACP subsidy value of $29.77 per month
- Based on actual disbursement data from 2022
- Assumed consistent for projection purposes
- Total annual program cost of ~$4.8 billion
- Enrollment * Average Subsidy Value * 12 Months
- Very rough estimate – actual amounts fluctuate month to month
- Existing ACP funding totals ~$17 billion
- Remaining EBB carryover + New Infrastructure funding
- Does not account for any future appropriations
Plugging these assumptions into a simple timeline analysis, the funding appears sufficient to sustain current enrollment at affordable connectivity program speed for 3-5 years without any additional injections of capital.
Of course, these projections could swing in either direction. Fewer households using the full $30 discount would extend timelines, while higher than expected participation would accelerate depletion.
Will More Funding Be Added to Extend the ACP?
While the Infrastructure Bill defined the only funding set aside for the ACP so far, additional money could still be appropriated by Congress.
The ACP was created with bipartisan Congressional support and backing from both the Biden administration and the FCC. This broad political momentum improves odds of renewed funding.
However, given current economic instability and questions over the scale of adoption, the timeline for any ACP funding boost remains highly uncertain.
It’s plausible that around the projected 2025/2027 expiration date, Congress evaluates the Affordable Connectivity Program’s progress and allocates more money. This would likely lengthen the lifespan by at least a few additional years.
Several factors could influence the decision to extend funding or not:
- Total ACP enrollment – The higher the adoption, the stronger the argument to continue
- Pandemic recovery status – Lingering economic impacts may increase urgency to renew
- Internet affordability data – Evidence that pricing is still prohibitive for many Americans
- Political party agendas – Democratic support currently higher than Republican
Of course, it’s also possible that the program sunsets after expending its large but ultimately limited budget. Given the unpredictability, households benefiting from the ACP would be wise to view it as temporary assistance rather than an indefinite guarantee.
What Would Cause the ACP to End Sooner Than Anticipated?
While most experts believe the ACP has at least a few years yet to run, several risks could unexpectedly curtail the lifespan of the program:
1. Substantially Higher Enrollment
If enrollment expands well beyond 13 million U.S. households currently projected over the next 1-2 years, budgets would drain faster.
For example, some estimates peg the maximum number of eligible households at nearly 3x current adoption levels. If even half these homes successfully applied for the ACP in a short period, multi-billion increases in annual costs could cut timelines by over 50%, limiting the program to 2-3 years tops before funds dry up.
However, the current pace of acquisition makes this level of hockey stick growth relatively unlikely over the next 12-24 months absent even more aggressive promotional efforts.
2. Sudden Drop in Household Eligibility
Income thresholds for the ACP are based on multiples of the federal poverty guidelines. While these amounts are currently fixed through 2025 by an FCC decision, they theoretically could be changed sooner.
Any material reduction in qualifying income levels – perhaps motivated by desire to constrain budget impacts – would immediately kick millions of families off the program, allowing funding to last longer for those still eligible.
These types of eligibility shifts seem improbable in the near-term but remain a risk factor when projecting how long affordable connectivity resources might persist.
3. Failure to Continue Funding
As discussed previously, while additional Congressional appropriations could extend the ACP for many more years, lack of momentum would sharply limit viability post 2025/2027.
If partisan shifts after upcoming elections sap political will to continue subsidizing connectivity expenses, it may simply be allowed to expire as intended when allocations are depleted.
Continued public support and strong adoption metrics are critical to making the case the program should live on rather than serving as just short-term pandemic assistance.
The unique budget mechanics of the ACP make predicting just how much longer it will offer vital financial relief to internet subscribers across the country especially complicated. Still, under most scenarios, eligible households have at least 2-4 more years to take advantage of the up to $30 per month savings.
Careful monitoring of enrollment trends, changing eligibility criteria, and Congressional appropriations appetite will narrow uncertainties – but surprises in any direction can’t be ruled out.
Why is the Affordable Connectivity Program Important?
Before diving into recommendations for maximizing ACP benefits in light of lifespan uncertainties, it’s helpful to reinforce why this affordability program matters so much.
1. The Digital Divide Remains Too Large
Though overall internet penetration continues to slowly increase, adoption gaps still leave over 30 million Americans completely disconnected in their homes – disproportionally low-income, rural, elderly, Tribal, and minority households.
And access is only part of the problem. Upwards of 75 million people lack broadband speeds to fully participate online today.
Pricing frequently plays a central role limiting connections and quality – a 2021 NDIA survey found 33% of non-broadband households named affordability as the main barrier.
With the average cost of even bare minimum plans often $50+ monthly, reliable high-speed internet remains out of reach financially for too many vulnerable families.
This contributes to persistent digital inequality undermining economic opportunity, remote work/learning viability, healthcare access, civic participation, and more.
2. ACP Directly Tackles the Affordability Burden
The Affordable Connectivity Program tackles these known budgetary obstacles head on.
By covering up to $30 every month (up to $75 on Tribal lands), it lifts a substantial portion of the pricing pressures preventing low-income Americans from getting and staying connected.
And the eligibility criteria intentionally target support based both on income thresholds and participation in adjacent assistance programs like SNAP, WIC, Medicaid, SSI, and Lifeline.
This amplifies impact across groups facing disproportionate access challenges while simplifying verification processes by integrating with other federal and state efforts.
The ACP delivers affordability aid via a proven subsidy mechanism alongside these complementary benefit programs instead of reinventing issue-plagued distribution channels.
3. Every Additional Year Has Significant Value
Extending program timelines through additional funding commitments or constraining adoption rates matters tremendously for cementing digital inclusion gains.
With multi-year durations, households can confidently invest in plans, devices, and skills development knowing discounts will empower long-term connectivity.
And as more families cross the digital divide thanks to ACP support, ecosystem impacts magnify. Aggregate purchasing power shifts expand network buildouts, services become optimized for lower-income use cases, and technology increasingly permeates all aspects of daily life.
These compounding effects can entrench internet access as a permanent reality rather than a temporary condition dependent on transient external assistance prone to sudden disappearance.
But progress requires years of sustained resources for enrollments to scale nationally – especially among traditionally underconnected rural regions and marginalized communities.
Any efforts to prolong Affordable Connectivity Program viability or plan sensibly around uncertainties are central to unlocking the full potential of this assistance for closing the most stubborn connectivity gaps.
Even if eventually superseded by universal service programs or direct network subsidies, the ACP offers an immediacy of relief for those who need connectivity now through an expedient mechanism with established efficiencies.
How Can I Get the Most From the ACP Before it Ends?
While projecting exactly how much longer new enrollments into the Affordable Connectivity Program will remain open involves weighing many shifting factors, the likelihood remains that this support has a limited shelf life.
Whether funding gets extended after initial budget depletion or eligibility stays capped at existing levels, households successfully leveraging subsidies shouldn’t expect them to remain available permanently.
Here is some advice for maximizing ACP value during 2024 while the opportunity exists:
1. Apply Now to Start Saving
If you meet ACP eligibility requirements, submitting an application to enroll should be an immediate priority if you aren’t already receiving the benefit.
The subsidy allows up to $30 off monthly bills from any participating internet company, offering substantial cost relief for likely at least the next 3-4 years before the program could end.
Most major fixed and wireless providers are approved to apply discounts, making it easy to apply savings to an existing internet plan. Switching carriers is also an option if another offers better or more affordable service.
Starting now permits you to aggregate maximum overall subsidies during the remainder of time ACP exists – and build permanent habits around reliable connectivity.
2. Upgrade Service Tiers If Needed
One smart way to utilize ACP temporary financial assistance is fixing long-standing connectivity issues in your household.
If current internet speeds are unreliable or devices frequently bump up against data limitations, applying subsidy savings toward a tier upgrade solves the problem without increasing out-of-pocket costs.
For example, you might upgrade from a 10/1Mbps plan to 100/20Mbps offering greater performance headroom for multiple simultaneous users.
Or if data caps routinely constrained activity in the past, choose an unlimited data option free from overage charges while the ACP lowers the plan’s base rate.
Stretching subsidies to lift beyond minimum requirements enables your home’s connectivity to keep pace with rising needs. And better service tiers often provide some cushion to retain functionality when discounts eventually disappear in future years.
3. Invest Subsidy Savings Wisely
A powerful way to leverage the ACP is channeling new monthly savings from discounted internet bills into other connectivity-enhancing investments.
With $360+ in annual subsidies freed up from typical eligible plans, you could:
- Upgrade devices like phones, tablets, computers to newer models
- Purchase added technology products previously unaffordable
- Fund digital skills training courses for family members
This allows transforming short-term subsidies into durable internet access portfolio improvements producing benefits persisting well beyond program expiration.
Especially for lower-income households, unlocking the flexibility to strategically allocate freed-up cash toward productivity-enhancing technologies creates a force multiplier effect from ACP participation.
4. Prepare Now for Eventual Loss of Discount
Perhaps most importantly, households should structure their connectivity strategy accounting for inevitable ACP termination barring unforeseen funding extensions.
Ideally, participating families would:
- Select internet plans fitting longer-term realistic budgets
- Don’t overcommit just because discounts temporarily reduce prices
- Pick options sustainable when paying full price down the road
- Assemble alternative support resources
- Research other affordability programs for at-risk groups
- Get familiar with ISP low-cost offers
- Identify community connectivity assistance
- Build skills, equipment resilience
- Develop digital literacy to maximize usage
- Maintain devices to extend usefulness
- Explore alternative access sites like libraries
Adjusting spending habits, securing backup income streams, and reducing reliance on any single form of connectivity mitigates future disruption risks.
The ACP delivers powerful but temporary relief – plan ahead to prevent new access barriers when eligibility ends.
While hoping for extended affordability support, prudence calls for households to make the most of current subsidies yet prepare for the day discounts disappear.
Following these guidelines ensures available funding stretches as far as possible while permanently lifting connectivity access for recipients.
Ongoing Uncertainty Means Focusing on the Present
Predicting how much longer a still nascent federal program like the Affordable Connectivity Program might persist certainly has challenges.
But what remains clear are the immediate options available right now in 2023 and 2024 to slash internet bills for millions of lower-income families.
The ACP promises over $3 billion in support annually as long as budgets allow. Regardless whether eligibility lasts for another year or half-decade, immense value flows from signing up at the earliest opportunity.
While future congressional actions or enrollment trends may cut timelines shorter or extend them longer, today’s certainties should dominate decisions.
Monitor the policy debates over connectivity funding carefully. But don’t let uncertainty paralyze your household from moving forward with vital access improvements carrying lasting dividends no matter what comes next for the ACP.
The path ahead for America’s landmark internet discount program serving marginalized communities may be murky. Still, the present ability to slash monthly connectivity costs by up to $30 for those who need help remains crystal clear.
What is the Affordable Connectivity Program?
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) benefit program that helps lower the monthly cost of internet service. The ACP provides eligible households with discounts up to $30 a month (up to $75 on qualifying Tribal lands) for internet service and up to $100 toward a computer or tablet purchase.
The goal of the ACP is to help more low-income households access and afford high-speed internet service so they can fully participate in work, school, healthcare and more. It replaces the previous Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program.
Households qualify for the ACP discount if their income is 200% or less than federal poverty guidelines, or if a member participates in certain government assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, and others.
Once approved, the benefit can be applied to internet service from most major fixed or mobile broadband providers like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and many more. Participants can also switch companies and take their discount with them.
The ACP is an ongoing long-term program focused on closing persistent digital divides. The $14 billion funding allocation is projected currently to sustain the discounts for at least the next 5 years.
Who is Eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
The ACP offers subsidies to households meeting either income thresholds or participation criteria focused on supporting disadvantaged groups:
- Up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
- For 2023, applies to households under following income limits:
- 1 person – $27,180
- 2 people – $36,620
- 3 people – $46,060
- For 2023, applies to households under following income limits:
- Also includes anyone qualifying for other federal assistance programs below
Qualify automatically if anyone in the household participates in:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefit
- Tribal programs (Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, Tribal TANF, Head Start Tribal programs)
- Free and Reduced Price School Lunch Program or Breakfast Program
Check ACP Benefit website for expanded explanations of current eligibility criteria. Multiple qualification paths likely cover over 40% of U.S. households.
What is Lifeline and How do I Qualify?
Lifeline is an FCC run federal program providing monthly discounts on phone, mobile, or internet service for low-income consumers. It is sometimes mentioned alongside the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Key Lifeline Facts:
- Provides up to $9.25 off communications services per month
- Focused on making basic voice calling affordable
- Allows applying subsidy to broadband in some cases
- Available to eligible low-income households since 1985
You qualify for Lifeline benefits if you can demonstrate household income under 135% of the federal poverty guidelines OR participate in certain government assistance programs like Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and others.
Check details on Lifeline eligibility rules to see if you meet requirements. Apply through an approved Lifeline carrier if qualified.
So while Lifeline and the ACP both aim to promote affordability, they have key differences in amount of subsidies provided, services covered, and administration.
Is ACP at Risk?
There are some uncertainties around how long the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) will last in its current form. Here are some of the key factors:
- Funding Outlook: ACP is currently funded through 2027 based on the infrastructure bill passed in 2021, which allocated $14 billion to the program. There is no guarantee additional funding will be appropriated beyond that point.
- Enrollment Trends: If more eligible households enroll in ACP than projected over the next few years, available funds could be depleted sooner. However, adoption rates have been in line with expectations so far.
- Regulatory Changes: The FCC oversees ACP and could theoretically make adjustments to eligibility rules, subsidy amounts, participating providers etc. that impact viability. However, the FCC has strongly supported the current structure of ACP.
- Political Support: If support for digital inclusion programs wanes in the future, ACP could be scaled back. But both White House and members of Congress from both parties back benefits currently.
While ACP dispensation faces risks depending on enrollment uptake, politics and other variables, the program appears stable and funded for at least 5 more years as of late 2022. But advocates believe making benefits permanent is important given persistent affordability barriers.
Isn’t ACP a Temporary Program?
While the Affordable Connectivity Program was originally established as a longer-term successor to the temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit pandemic response program, there is valid uncertainty around just how permanent ACP will ultimately prove.
The key issues are:
- The infrastructure bill provided around $14 billion in funding which is projected to sustain the current subsidy structure for about 5 years. There is no guarantee additional money gets appropriated.
- The rules around eligibility, participating providers, and benefit structures could theoretically be modified by the FCC during that span in ways that impact availability.
- Beyond 4-5 years, continuation likely depends on advocacy and demonstrations that affordability gaps aren’t closing sufficiently without ongoing subsidies.
So in that sense, you could view the Affordable Connectivity Program as “permanent for now with an expiration date on the horizon if not renewed/replenished.” Of course supporters are pushing to make discounted connectivity enduring.
The hope remains though that the 5 years (or ideally more) of ACP support allows marginalized groups to fully join the digital economy and ultimately retain access even without discounts. But only time will tell if economic constraints remain too high without permanent subsidies.
How Does the ACP Protect Consumers?
As with other federal communications programs, the Affordable Connectivity Program contains important rules guarding households against potential service issues:
- No Unexpected Plan Changes
- Providers cannot alter subscribed plans without consumer consent just because discounts are applied through the ACP. Standard terms and conditions still apply.
- No Disconnections Without Warning
- Additional notification requirements protect against abrupt loss of ACP-discounted services due to missed payments. More flexibility offered.
- No Hidden Fees
- Total monthly plan fees must be clearly presented upfront to identify full costs before discount. No surprise charges allowed.
- No Sale of Personal Data
- ISPs banned from exploiting ACP applicant personal information for unrelated commercial purposes.
- Standard Provider Accountability
- Internet companies remain subject to general FCC regulations regarding service quality, data security, and customer support.
Note these ACP consumer protections restrictions on participating internet service providers. Help remains available for households facing issues like sudden loss of eligibility discounts or other sketchy carrier behaviors.
Which Internet Service Providers Are Participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program?
The good news is that most major fixed and mobile broadband providers across the country participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program.
As of late 2022, some of the large fixed internet providers offering ACP discounts include:
- Verizon Fios
- TDS Telecom
- Atlantic Broadband
Additionally, key satellite internet services like Viasat and HughesNet allow subscribers in rural unserved areas to apply subsidies.
A number of mobile carriers also let those relying on cellular hotspots as their primary home connections utilize ACP savings, such as:
- AT&T Wireless
- Verizon Wireless
- US Cellular
Check ACP Benefit website listings of participating providers by ZIP code for specifics in your local market. Independent rural ISPs may also enroll on a case-by-case basis.
With most major internet brands across fixed and mobile categories already on board, the vast majority of U.S. households have solid ACP discount options. Reach out to your current or preferred carrier to confirm participation and eligibility details.
How to Find Out if You’re Eligible for Free or Discounted Internet?
Paying for home internet access can strain limited budgets, especially as costs rise. Fortunately, free or low-cost programs exist for qualifying households facing financial limitations.
Use the following steps to determine if you may get discounted or even completely free monthly internet based on low income status or other qualifying criteria.
1. Check Your Income Threshold
Some carriers, communities, and government assistance plans base eligibility on household wages relative to the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If your income falls below defined caps — which vary by number of members — you may pre-qualify. Common thresholds include 200%, 135% or lower compared to poverty rates.
2. Research Federal Programs
The FCC’s long-running Lifeline subsidy and newer Affordable Connectivity Program help households struggling to maintain essential communications services afford home internet plans. If already participating in other government assistance like SNAP, several programs seamlessly coordinate enrollment.
3. Ask Local Providers About Inclusion Offerings
Increasingly, internet service providers themselves are launching low-cost plans — often around $20 monthly — for vulnerable groups. Designed as accessible options with no hidden strings, they help close persistent affordability gaps and fulfill digital inclusion commitments. Availability and terms depend on your area.
4. Contact Community Organizations
Charities, public housing authorities, Tribal networks and other grassroots groups sometimes secure free or donated internet connectivity to distribute for free among constituencies through special partnerships. If traditional options still remain prohibitively expensive, these community channels may provide alternatives.
Meeting even minimum internet speed needs has become challenging for too many. But between expanding corporate, government and philanthropic efforts, chances are you can find an affordable path online.
Can Roommates Each Receive Separate ACP Discounts?
It’s common for roommates to split internet bills evenly while sharing a residence. This sometimes raises questions on whether each individual could qualify separately for their own $30 Affordable Connectivity Program discount.
However, the ACP is structured as a household-level benefit without consideration for the number of people contributing to plan payments.
The rules explicitly prohibit more than one ACP subsidy being applied to offset costs of a single internet service overall. Even roommates paying their allocated portion separately cannot claim multiples discounts under one account.
In guidance examples, the FCC has further clarified that eligibility extends to the household as a whole – including situations where roommates split bills but have no familial relationship.
Unfortunately, this means roommates must coordinate to claim only one total ACP discount per dwelling to share savings benefits across contributors.
The $30 subsidy is substantial enough for most affordable plan tiers that evenly dividing discounted costs still notably reduces each individual’s monthly payments. But no loopholes exist for roommates to effectively “double dip” with separate subsidies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Connectivity Program
How do I get started with my application for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
You can apply online at ACPbenefit.org or print out and mail in an application form. You’ll need to provide information on your household income or participation in qualifying government assistance programs. Contact your preferred internet service provider to select a plan and apply the ACP discount once approved.
Do I receive the funds directly each month?
No, the ACP does not provide direct monthly funds to households. Instead, it offers up to a $30 discount on your internet service bill, lowering the amount you pay out of pocket. The internet provider receives reimbursement for the subsidy.
Which internet providers are participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Major fixed broadband providers like AT&T, Spectrum, Comcast, Verizon and many others participate. Several satellite internet services also qualify. Check with your local and mobile carriers.
What is the enhanced benefit amount for residents of Tribal Lands?
Households on federally recognized Tribal lands can qualify for up to a $75 monthly discount off their internet service through the ACP.
Where can I find more information on the Affordable Connectivity Program?
Visit the federal program website at ACPbenefit.org operated by USAC, which administers the ACP on behalf of the FCC.
Can I apply for the ACP if I have a past due balance with the provider?
Yes, having an outstanding balance does not automatically disqualify you from the discount program. However, payment plan requirements vary between internet providers – contact them for specifics.
Can I sign up for the ACP if I am already a customer or was a customer in the past?
Absolutely, both existing and prior customers can enroll to start receiving the ACP monthly subsidy. You still must meet standard eligibility criteria.
If I already receive Lifeline benefits will I automatically receive the Affordable Connectivity Program?
No, Lifeline and ACP eligibility involves separate application processes. You need to complete enrollment documentation for the ACP separately in order to access program discounts. The two can be combined.
Can I receive both the Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline benefits at the same time?
Yes, households can benefit from both programs simultaneously. They are considered complementary rather than mutually exclusive. Apply for and manage each subsidy separately.
Will I be able to use the service and the device if I have a disability?
Internet service providers and connected devices should offer accommodations like screen readers or other assistive features to ensure those with disabilities can fully utilize ACP supported connectivity. Check with your carrier and equipment providers regarding accessibility.
Does the price of broadband matter to consumers?
Yes. Affordability remains one of the biggest barriers to home broadband adoption according to surveys. Lower income families often cite high internet prices as the main reason they go without service. Discounts through programs like ACP help address these cost challenges.
How is ACP related to broadband access?
The ACP provides eligible households discounts on monthly internet service bills to directly make broadband more affordable and encourage adoption. By subsidizing costs up to $30 per month, it tackles pricing head-on as an obstacle to vital internet access.
Does ACP provide free internet?
No, ACP isn’t large enough to make service completely free. But the up to $30 per month discount comes very close for those eligible. Recipients still pay something out of pocket based on plan chosen but costs are drastically reduced by ACP.
Who uses ACP?
ACP eligibility extends to households under 200% of the federal poverty guideline or those participating in several government assistance programs like SNAP and Medicaid. It therefore serves predominantly lower-income populations.
What happens if ACP runs out of money?
If the funding allocation from Congress runs out as projected around 2027 without renewal, the discounts would likely expire absent a replacement program. Advocates are pushing to maintain ACP long-term if affordability challenges persist for vulnerable families.