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Funding Year Overview

Funding Year 2021

Funding year (FY) 2021 will take place from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. New for FY2021 and forward, the competitive bidding period will begin on July 1 of the prior calendar year, allowing RHC program applicants more time to complete and submit their FCC Forms 461 and Forms 465 for the purposes of competitive bidding. For FY2021, applicants can begin the competitive bidding process as early as July 1, 2020.

FY2021 Filing Window Period

The filing window period for FY2021 will take place from  January 4, 2021 – June 1, 2021. This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) as early as  January 4, 2021 and no later than 11:59 p.m. ET June 1, 2021 for the initial filing window period. We highly encourage you to submit your application forms as early as possible in the filing window period. Other application forms for FY2021 (FCC Forms 460, 461, or 465) are accepted prior to January 4 to begin the application process.

Looking Ahead: Funding Year 2022

Funding year (FY) 2022 will take place from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.  For FY2022, applicants can begin the competitive bidding process as early as July 1, 2021. The filing window period for FY2022 will take place from  December 1, 2021 – April 1, 2022. This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) as early as December 1, 2021 and no later than 11:59 p.m. ET April 1, 2022 for the initial filing window period. We highly encourage you to submit your application forms as early as possible in the filing window period. Other application forms for FY2022 (FCC Forms 460, 461, or 465) are accepted prior to December 1 to begin the application process.

My Portal Platform Update: USAC is excited to share that the platform used to submit the FCC Form 462 (Funding Request Form) is being updated for Funding Year 2022 to improve user experience. The new platform—which is the web-based system used to host the form—will be easier to navigate and will allow RHC program reviewers to approve funding requests faster and more efficiently. This update currently applies to the FCC Form 462 ONLY, but over time will apply to all other forms in both the HCF and Telecom Programs. We will reach out to program participants as the platform grows and post all updates on the affected pages on our website. For more information visit the My Portal Platform Update pageNOTE: If you have already created or submitted a draft of your FCC Form 462 in My Portal, we strongly encourage you to save and download a copy so you do not lose your work, as any drafts in the system will not be migrated to the new platform.

RHC fund year 2022 graphic

Funding Year 2020

The filing window period for FY2020 was February 1 – June 30, 2020. Please note that the FY2020 filing window close date was extended from April 30 to June 30, 2020 due to the release of FCC Order DA 20-345.

On June 30, 2020 the FCC released Public Notice DA 20-688 On June 30, 2020, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau directed USAC to carry forward up to $197.98 million in unused funds from prior funding years to the extent necessary to satisfy funding year (FY) 2020 demand for the Rural Health Care program. The total amount of support available to eligible health care providers for FY2020 will be $802.74 million, the most in the program’s history. Read Public Notice DA 20-688 and News Release.

On March 12, 2020 the FCC Released Public Notice DA 20-263, announcing the RHC program funding cap for funding year (FY) 2020. The RHC program funding cap for FY2020 is $604,759,306. The cap for upfront payments and multi-year commitments under the Healthcare Connect Fund program is $152,700,000. These new caps represent a 1.8% inflation-adjusted increase in the $594,066,116 RHC program funding cap and the cap on multi-year commitments and upfront payments from funding year 2019.

Funding Year 2019

FY2019 takes place from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. On Friday, March 13, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released Order FCC 20-30 permitting USAC to carry forward $42.19 million in additional unused funds from prior years to fully fund all qualifying Rural Health Care (RHC) program funding year (FY) 2019 commitments.

The total RHC program demand for FY2019 was $719.48 million, which exceeded the $677.29 million in previously available funding. FCC Order 20-30 permits USAC to carry forward additional unused funds from prior years to cover this funding gap and waives the cap on multi-year and upfront commitments. Without this Order, reductions in FY2019 support for rural health care providers and their patients would be necessary. The FCC recognizes that COVID-19 presents serious challenges to healthcare providers, and they need enhanced connectivity to provide vital services to Americans. Read Order FCC 20-30.

What this Means for FY2019 Funding Requests

RHC is currently issuing decisions on FY2019 funding requests, and will continue to do so on a rolling basis. RHC will communicate any updates via the email addresses on file in My Portal.

For Telecom Program Funding Requests: All approved FY2019 Telecom program funding commitments will be fully funded at the difference in cost between the urban and rural areas in your state. There will not be any pro-rata reductions.

For HCF Program Funding Requests: All approved FY2019 HCF program funding commitments will be fully funded at 65%. There will not be any pro-rata reductions.

About Filing Window Periods

A filing window period is a fixed period of time when all funding requests received during a specific period are treated as though they were received at the same time. If funding remains after a filing window period, USAC may open another filing window period for that funding year.

If the total amount of qualifying funding requests received during the initial filing window period for a funding year does not exceed RHC program funding available (HCF and Telecom programs), we will determine the timing and duration associated with any subsequent filing window periods for that funding year based on our assessment of the total amount of qualifying funding requests in the initial filing window period and the amount of available funding still remaining. If the total amount of qualifying funding requests exceed the RHC program funding available in the initial filing window period, we will pro-rate funding pursuant to the FCC’s rules and there will be no additional filing window periods for that funding year.

 

The material on these web pages is provided for general information only and should not be relied upon or used as the sole basis for making decisions without consulting the RHC program rules, orders, and other primary sources of information. Applicants and service providers are ultimately responsible for knowing and complying with all RHC program rules and procedures.