ACP Program in California: Purpose, Benefits & Qualifications

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a process that allows individuals to make decisions about the healthcare treatment they want to receive if they become unable to speak for themselves. The goal of ACP is to help ensure that patients receive medical care aligned with their values, goals, and preferences. Through ACP, patients can designate a healthcare proxy, specify preferences for treatments and care options, and document wishes for end-of-life care.

According to UCLA Health, the ACP program provides a framework for patients to engage in thoughtful discussions about their healthcare goals and document their wishes. The purpose of ACP is to honor patient autonomy and provide care according to their values and preferences. By facilitating conversations and documentation early, ACP aims to avoid unwanted, ineffective, and costly medical interventions.

What is the ACP Program?

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) in California is a federal program that provides discounted broadband service and devices to eligible households. The program aims to increase access to high-speed internet for low-income families (

The ACP provides a subsidy of up to $30 per month for broadband service and up to $100 for the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. Households participating in government assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, and SSI are eligible. The benefit can be applied to any participating internet service provider, allowing recipients to choose from multiple options.

The ACP functions similarly to California’s state-level Lifeline program. However, the ACP provides larger discounts and has less restrictive eligibility requirements. The program launched in 2022 as an expansion and replacement of the previous Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

History of the ACP Program

The ACP program was first established in California in 1993 through the passage of Senate Bill 798. This legislation allowed for the creation of arbitration certification programs to help resolve disputes over alleged “lemon” vehicles (

The program was created in response to California’s lemon law, which provides consumer protections for those who purchase defective vehicles. ACP provides an alternative arbitration process outside of court for lemon law disputes.

The program was initially administered by the Department of Consumer Affairs. In 2002, administration was transferred to the Department of Motor Vehicles under Assembly Bill 2856. This helped streamline the arbitration process and made the program more efficient.

Over the years, the program has expanded to include other automobile-related disputes beyond just lemon law claims. Participants can now bring disputes over warranty coverage, service contracts, and auto sales to ACP arbitration.

Goals and Objectives

The main goal of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is to help low-income households afford internet service. The program aims to increase broadband adoption and access to high-speed internet for eligible households across the country (Affordable Connectivity Program).

Specific objectives of the ACP include (Affordable Connectivity Program, Outreach Grant Program):

  • Making broadband more affordable for low-income families
  • Closing the digital divide by getting more low-income households connected
  • Supporting schools, libraries, and healthcare providers in accessing affordable, high-speed internet
  • Gathering data to evaluate the program’s effectiveness and impact

In summary, the ACP aims to promote digital equity by reducing the monthly cost of broadband service for eligible households across the United States.

How it Works

The ACP program provides eligible households with discounts on internet service and connected devices. Once enrolled, participants work with participating internet providers to select an internet plan that meets their needs and receive the ACP benefit applied to their bill each month.

To enroll in the ACP program, applicants must complete and submit an application with required documents to verify eligibility. This can be done online through the National Verifier website or by contacting participating internet providers directly. Required documents may include proof of income or participation in certain government assistance programs.

After submitting an application, eligibility is verified by the National Verifier. If approved, the applicant will select an internet service plan with a participating provider. The provider will then apply the ACP benefit to the customer’s bill each month. Participants must recertify eligibility annually to continue receiving the benefit.

ACP meetings are held monthly or quarterly to review program participation and address any issues. Case managers document all meetings, calls, and eligibility verifications throughout a participant’s enrollment. They also assist participants in completing annual recertification paperwork to avoid any disruption in benefits.


The ACP program provides several benefits for qualifying households. The main benefits include:

  • Up to $30/month discount on internet service. This helps lower the cost burden for internet access.
  • Improved care alignment across settings. With internet access, patients and caregivers can more easily communicate with healthcare providers remotely. This facilitates better care coordination.
  • Reduced stress for families. Affordable internet access enables better access to health information, telehealth services, and connection with loved ones. This can alleviate stress associated with medical issues.
  • Increased access to telehealth services. Reliable, affordable internet connection enables the use of telehealth for medical appointments, therapy services, prescription refills, and other healthcare needs.
  • Improved access to health resources and information online. With home internet access, patients and caregivers can more readily access health education materials, connect with support groups, and manage healthcare tasks online.

In summary, the ACP program aims to close the digital divide by making internet access more affordable. This has widespread benefits for qualifying households in terms of healthcare, education, employment, and quality of life.

Participant Qualifications

To qualify for the ACP program in California, applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria. According to the California Public Utilities Commission, participants must have an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level or qualify for assistance programs like Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and others (California Public Utilities Commission). There are no restrictions based on age or disability.

Some key eligibility requirements include:

  • Having an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines based on household size
  • Participating in certain assistance programs like CalFresh, Medicaid, SSI, public housing assistance, veterans pension benefits, and tribal assistance programs
  • Receiving benefits under WIC, Head Start, Free and Reduced Price School Lunch Program, or Lifeline

Applicants must provide documentation proving eligibility such as prior year’s tax returns, pay stubs, or documentation of participation in qualifying assistance programs. Overall, the ACP program aims to help low-income households afford essential telecommunication services.


There is no cost for eligible households to enroll in the ACP program. The program provides a subsidy to help cover broadband internet access service and connected devices. According to the Verizon ACP site, the ACP program provides up to $30/month discount on internet service and up to $75 for eligible households on Tribal lands. The subsidy is provided in the form of a discount on the monthly bill from participating broadband providers. Households simply enroll with the program and select a participating broadband provider to receive the monthly discount.

The funding for the ACP subsidy comes from the federal government through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which allocated $3.2 billion to the program. No additional grants or funding is required from states, local governments, schools, community organizations or participants. The FCC oversees the program at the federal level and reimburses broadband providers for the cost of the monthly discounts.

Statistics and Impact

The ACP program has had a tremendous impact in California since its inception. As of September 2022, over 1.1 million California households were enrolled and receiving ACP benefits ( This represents nearly 7% of all households in the state. With California having one of the largest low-income populations in the country, the ACP provides critical assistance.

A 2022 survey by the California Public Utilities Commission found that 94% of ACP participants say the program has helped them afford internet service. Additionally, 65% say ACP has helped them pay other essential bills, with 82% reporting less stress about finances since enrolling ( The benefits are clear – ACP is allowing low-income families to stay connected and financially stable.

As California continues promoting ACP enrollment, the program has room for expansion. Participation rates still lag behind federal poverty levels in many counties. Ongoing outreach and partnerships with community organizations can further increase usage and maximize impact. With carefully managed funds, ACP has the potential to connect hundreds of thousands more households across the state.


In conclusion, the ACP program in California provides important benefits for both participants and the community. By allowing certain nonviolent, low-level offenders to serve their sentences at home with intensive supervision, the program aims to facilitate successful reentry and reduce recidivism.

Participants must meet strict eligibility criteria and follow all program rules to remain in the program. Compliance is closely monitored through frequent mandatory meetings, home visits, drug tests, and electronic monitoring. In exchange, participants avoid prison time and gain skills, treatment, and structure to help them pursue law-abiding lives.

When implemented properly, ACP has been shown to be both safe and effective. Participants have lower recidivism rates and communities benefit from cost savings and avoiding the negative impacts of incarceration. Overall, the program provides a humane but accountable alternative to prison that prioritizes rehabilitation over punishment.

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