September/October 2023

At A Glance

At a Glance is a Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) publication that provides information on major initiatives, policy changes and program updates. Feel free to share At a Glance with your colleagues. Previous editions of At a Glance are on our website. Thank you for your interest!

Please note:

The monthly editions of At a Glance did not go out as planned during the months of September, October, and November due to an internal issue. We are sending these back issues now and they are on our website. You can also subscribe to our HCPF newsletters and see the monthly message from Executive Director Kim Bimestefer. We apologize for the error and any inconvenience this may have caused.

A Message from the Executive Director

Partner to Keep Coloradans Covered

Our top priority continues to be partnering with stakeholders throughout the state to achieve our shared goal to Keep Coloradans Covered. With the end of the public health emergency, all states, including Colorado, resumed eligibility renewals after a three-year pause. In Colorado, this means renewing each of our 1.7M Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) members on their annual anniversary date. 

May-August 2023 Point-in-Time Reported Data

Based on point-in-time information, an average of 49.0% of members with renewal anniversaries between May-August were renewed, according to initial data pulls (see below on how this figure improves over time). Of those renewed, just under half were automatically renewed through advances in processing technology, while the other half were renewed after completing their renewal packet. An average of 48.5% of individuals up for renewal May-August were disenrolled (2.5% applications were pending on average). Of those disenrolled, an average of 17.2% no longer qualified due to exceeding the income levels for their household size or eligibility classification. An average of 33.4% lost eligibility for procedural reasons such as not completing the renewal paperwork submission process. That figure was 12% prior to the pandemic. More information is available on our website.

Improved Renewal Rates 90 Days Later

We expect the data to change as late renewal paperwork is received or individuals receiving termination notices complete and return their renewal packets. For members up for renewal in May, this was indeed true - after the 90-day reconsideration period, 60% have now been renewed, which is better than the pre-pandemic average of 57%. For the same set of members, losing eligibility for procedural reasons fell by 4% to 22%, an improvement. Members with renewal anniversaries in June and July are still within the 90-day timeframe, but we are already seeing some take late action on their renewals, tracking similarly to the May cohort. More information is available on our website.

Focus on Special Populations

We are closely monitoring more vulnerable populations. Regarding members with long-term care waiver supports, procedural denials are tracking with rates pre-pandemic at 17% then versus 18% now. Less than 1% of members with long-term care waiver supports have “whereabouts unknown,” meaning this population is receiving renewal notices. Renewal rates for children are better than for the general membership: For May, June and July renewals, 69% of children remained enrolled, better than the overall 58% of all Colorado individuals who renewed during the same period. Also, we are not finding racial disparities between people of color and white people: for example, children who identify as Hispanic are being renewed in Colorado at a higher rate than non-Hispanic white children (72% versus 68% from May renewals).

Employer Chamber Engagement

We also met with several employer organizations over the last 60 days (i.e., Denver Chamber, Pro15, Club20, Colorado Springs Chamber, and more), helping them understand the impact of the end of the public health emergency on coverage and providing tools to message employer affiliates about coverage renewals and transitions, including how to help employees covered by Health First Colorado understand how to enroll in available employer-sponsored programs should they be disenrolled from Health First Colorado or CHP+ coverage. This work, in conjunction with the outreaches from Connect for Health Colorado to disenrolling Health First Colorado members, is intended to help connect individuals to affordable coverage.

Changes in Process to Keep Coloradans Covered

Keep Coloradans Covered is our top priority, which is why we – with our partners – are conducting multiple outreaches and following up to disenrolling members, refining renewal notices and improving PEAK access and efficiencies, among other strategies. HCPF is also leveraging additional flexibility from CMS to provide a 60-calendar day extension to complete the renewal process to those accessing Long-Term Care (LTC) waiver services and supports or Buy-In recipients who have not returned their renewal packet on time. This extension enables HCPF to conduct additional outreach and is in effect starting Sept. 5, 2023, through June 2024. Additional CMS guidance requires a change to our ex parte process for renewals. As we take a phased approach to the change, HCPF is implementing a temporary renewal extension for all members up for renewal in September and October. Thank you, Regional Accountable Entity partners, for additional outreach to affected members. For more information, please see our Special Edition Newsletter.

Call to Action: Help Us Keep Coloradans Covered

Our ability to Keep Coloradans Covered depends on all of us engaging to do our part. Thank you to providers, educators, counties, community leaders, advocates and employers - you are our trusted messengers on the ground, seeing our members when they walk through your doors. Please leverage the HCPF resources in public areas and through email - flyers, posters, messaging, social media, and more - to achieve our shared goals. And thank you for all you’re doing to Keep Coloradans Covered.

Accountable Care Collaborative

The Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC) is our Health First Colorado delivery system to meet members’ health needs. We are in the process of designing Phase III of the ACC, a critical part of HCPF’s efforts to improve care quality, service, equity and affordability, which will begin July 1, 2025. Phase III will build on investments, innovations and advances to improve member experience, access to care, health equity, home and community-based care, behavioral health, the health care workforce and affordability. Thank you to the more than 3,500 stakeholders across 75 stakeholder meetings to date who have contributed to shaping our Phase III priorities.

We are pleased to announce that we have officially published the ACC Phase III Concept Paper on the ACC Phase III webpage. This Concept Paper outlines the overall vision and design for Phase III and discusses several proposed policies and programs in detail, such as behavioral health transformation, care coordination, payment structure, and more. The proposals in this paper combine extensive research completed by several internal work groups as well as the feedback from stakeholders captured in the ACC Phase III Vision Stage Summary. Please join upcoming meetings to share feedback on these proposals. Stakeholders will also be able to submit comments using an online survey through the end of October. More information about upcoming meetings can be found on the ACC Phase III Stakeholder Engagement webpage.

Breaking News

HCPF Annual Stakeholder Webinar:

Thank you to the approx. 1,000 attendees who joined HCPF leaders for our Annual Stakeholder Webinar on Aug. 8. This event shared what we accomplished together last year, addressed priorities for this fiscal year, and heard stakeholder feedback and comments. Materials are posted on our website

Help Patients Receive Paid Medical Leave in Colorado:

It’s go time! Colorado has spent nearly three years establishing a paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program, and a special online portal for health care providers is now live and ready for you to log in and get ready to make paid medical leave a reality for Colorado workers.

This exclusive portal was built to help busy providers cut down on paperwork and deliver an elevated patient experience. In the portal, called My FAMLI+, you'll be able to track and manage patient claims and ensure that approved, licensed health care providers are making treatment decisions impacting a patient's ability to work. And your patients won’t have to worry about bringing you paperwork to sign!


Licensed health care providers will play a vital role in making sure that the FAMLI program is an accessible and meaningful benefit for workers across Colorado. 


When you register in the health care provider portal, you can designate a staff member to manage all your patients’ claims—so that when your patients start applying for benefits at the end of the year, your office will get direct notifications from the portal when a patient needs support. Providers that register will streamline their communication with the FAMLI Division and provide a better experience for your patients during stressful life events.  

Check out FAMLI’s step-by-step user guide and how-to videos published online to support you and your staff through the process. Also, subscribe here to get updates related to the health care provider portal directly from the FAMLI Division as soon as they are available. 

Keep Colordans Covered:

HCPF created resources for you to share in public areas - flyers, posters, messaging, social media, and more. Please use these resources today to help us renew those who continue to qualify for our safety net health coverage programs and connect those who no longer qualify for our programs to affordable, alternative coverage.


Providers, educators, counties, community leaders and advocates - you are our trusted messengers on the ground, seeing our members when they walk through your doors. We ask that you meet them where they are, post flyers, send notifications, make phone calls, talk to them when they’re in front of you, and remind them to open mail from the state, complete, sign and send in the packet by the renewal deadline.


  • has plain language resources in English and Spanish with links to help members with what they need to know about the renewal process and where to find help completing a renewal. 
  • It is common for members to miss their renewal deadline. Members should submit the renewal packet they already received if they are within the 90-day window of their renewal anniversary. If they do not take action within those 90 days, they must reapply (fill out and submit a new application) to regain coverage if they are eligible.  
  • The renewal process may take longer for individuals with disabilities who access HCBS waiver supports. Please encourage members who receive waiver services and their support community to take action early and seek help with their renewals if they need it. HCPF is actively working with advocates, Regional Accountable Entities, case management agencies and counties to implement initiatives that focus on these members.  
  • Please remind parents that children may still qualify for Health First Colorado or CHP+ coverage even if the parents no longer do. 

Third Annual Substance Use Disorder Stakeholder Forum:

The third annual substance use disorder (SUD) stakeholder forum will be held virtually in October. During the annual forum, we will review the Annual Report for Demonstration Year 2 and update the community about the 1115 Waiver “Expanding the Substance Use Disorder Continuum of Care.” Send any questions and feedback about gaps you see in the SUD services continuum to the SUD inbox. This year’s forum will be a single event held virtually Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 5-6:30 p.m. Participants can register now to attend.

Participants will be able to have questions answered about how the benefit expansion works and share ideas about community needs in the SUD space.


For more information on SUD, visit the Ensuring Full Continuum SUD Benefits webpage

Auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities and language services for individuals whose first language is not English may be provided upon request. Please notify HCPF’s SUD team at or the Civil Rights Coordinator at at least one week prior to the meeting to make arrangements. 

Updated HCPF Behavioral Health Crisis Services Forums:

Colorado expands access to mobile behavioral health services with the roll out of both Mobile Crisis Response (MCR) and Behavioral Health Secure Transportation (BHST)  

To engage with HCPF about these and other benefits within the behavioral health crisis continuum, please note the following opportunities: 

  • HCPF Crisis Services Monthly Open Office hours is an informal, unrecorded meeting where stakeholders can ask questions and troubleshoot issues about Health First Colorado benefits. The meetings occur on the second Tuesday of each month from 11 a.m. to noon. However, the first Open Office Hours will be held on Sept. 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (please note the earlier time): Register in advance for this meeting. 
  • Crisis Services Bi-Monthly Technical Assistance Collaborative Meeting is a formal, recorded session where HCPF, the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) can provide updates and engage with stakeholders. The first of these sessions will be held on Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will occur every other month on the fourth Thursday. Register in advance for this meeting. Individuals who have been attending the biweekly MCR technical assistance meetings do not need to reregister but should take note of the new dates. 

Please contact for more information. 

Free Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment Training for Providers:

Free Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) training for Health First Colorado providers is provided through partnership with Peer Assistance Services, Inc. (PAS). PAS has provided SBIRT training and support since 2006. The SBIRT program promotes prevention and early intervention efforts through in-person, online, and virtual training; technical assistance; and hands-on SBIRT implementation. 

Visit the PAS training calendar to get registered for an upcoming training. The shared goal is to promote SBIRT as a standard of care throughout Colorado. For more information, contact Janelle Gonzalez at

Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC) Upcoming Public Listening Sessions:

Please join us for a series of public listening sessions to discuss the ACC Phase III Concept Paper. These meetings will be tailored to specific audiences to help focus the discussion. We ask that you please attend the meeting that best suits your role. We will also host these discussions at established forums over the coming months, such as the Member Experience Advisory Council and Program Improvement Advisory Committee meetings.

  • Behavioral Health Providers: Thursday, Sept. 14 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Registration Link  
  • All providers welcome (including specialists, hospitals, etc.): Tuesday, Sept. 26 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. | Registration Link 
  • Health First Colorado Members: Thursday, Sept. 28 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Registration Link 

The most up-to-date schedule, as well as recordings and materials from past presentations, are on the ACC Phase III Stakeholder Engagement webpage

Spanish interpretation, American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, and live captioning will be available for the session on Sept. 28. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request. Auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities and language services for individuals whose first language is not English may be provided upon request. Please notify or the Civil Rights Coordinator at at least one week prior to the meeting to make arrangements. 

Resources and How to Stay Informed:

The PHE Planning Resource Center will be updated as new information about the end of COVID-19 public health emergency and other COVID-19 policy evolves. To stay informed about the latest updates, sign up for the COVID-19 public health emergency updates monthly newsletter

In addition to the policy changes connected to the end of the public health emergency, HCPF has developed extensive partner toolkits regarding the end of the continuous coverage requirement. Update Your Address, Understanding the Renewal Process and Take Action on Your Renewal toolkits all include resources to help members take action to keep their coverage. A new joint webpage includes partner resources and information for those who may need to transition to other coverage.

Helpful Resources

Read Health First Colorado News

Download Health First Colorado Resources

Find PEAK Resources

Join a Public Rule Review Meeting

Apply for a State of CO Job

Female provider, kneeling next to parents holding small child.


In September 2023, there were

1,528,032 Coloradans enrolled in Health First Colorado and

53,667 enrolled in Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).