President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law March 11. The COVID-19 relief law allocates $8.5 billion for payments to eligible rural healthcare providers for healthcare-related expenses and lost revenues that are attributable to COVID-19.
To be eligible for funds, a rural healthcare provider must apply and justify that the expenses and lost revenues are attributed to COVID-19. The healthcare-related expenses attributable to COVID-19 must be those necessary to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. This encompasses the purchase of medical supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment and testing supplies; providing for increased workforce and training; the operation of an emergency operation center; retrofitting a facility; providing for surge capacity; and other expenses determined appropriate by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The act provides $350 billion to help states, counties, cities and tribal governments cover increased expenditures, replenish lost revenue and mitigate economic harm from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly $10 billion is expected to come to Michigan, including $5.6 billion for the state general fund to replace lost tax revenues. States must use these federal funds by Dec. 31, 2024.
In addition, the act provides $10 billion for a Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund to carry out projects to support work, education and health monitoring during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state may use its share of these funds for aid to households, small businesses and nonprofits. It may also make investments in public projects including broadband infrastructure.
For more information about the new COVID-19 relief law, contact Laura Appel at the MHA.