June 17, 2024

Public Health Emergency Planning header

Message from the Executive Director


During the COVID-induced Public Health Emergency (PHE), Colorado grew its Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) safety net enrollment by more than 45%, or about 550,000 Coloradans. That percentage increase, according to our research, is the second highest in the nation of the Medicaid Expansion states. Our collaborative efforts helped to renew and enroll 1.8 million Coloradans, or 30% of the population, into our programs. These are historic, unprecedented milestones and accomplishments achieved without warning or playbook. We should all be incredibly proud of that. Together, we were there for Coloradans when they needed us, and that is why safety net coverage programs like Health First Colorado and CHP+ exist. Thank you. This was a massive, impressive team effort, and we are very grateful for your engagement and partnership. Read more from the Executive Director.

COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) Unwind Ends


April 2024 formally reflects the last month of the 12-month Medicaid continuous coverage unwind period in Colorado. Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) has published renewal reports and a PHE Unwind Summary on the Continuous Coverage Unwind Data Reporting page


HCPF and its contracted partners outreached more than 2.3 million times to over 600,000 Colorado households during the PHE Unwind according to their communication preferences - mailings, phone calls, email and texts. Thank you to the many community partners, advocates, health plan and other partners who did their part to help further raise awareness of the renewal process and for your direct member engagement throughout the renewal cycle to achieve shared goals.


While the PHE unwind period has ended, work to continue improving the renewal and enrollment processes will be ongoing. Improvements to the online renewal and applications in PEAK, letters and ex parte are in development. HCPF is committed to learning from the unwind experience and improving the renewal process for our members.


LTSS Extensions Remain in Place


HCPF has temporarily paused terminations for all reasons for Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) members for two months past the member’s original termination date, unless the termination is for a member who has moved out of state or has passed away. This system change will remain in effect until at least December 2024 and replaces the 60-day extension for the renewal period for Long-Term Care (LTC), individuals with Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) and Buy-In recipients who have yet to return their renewal packet on time. Instead, the system will apply a two-month extension for all denial reasons.


Ensuring coverage is maintained for LTSS members is a top priority. While many temporary waivers have been extended through June 2025, HCPF is urging CMS to

make temporary waivers that impact LTSS members permanent.


New Data Insights


Our website now includes new insights from analysis of the All Payer Claims Database (APCD) and county by county information about the percentage enrolled in Health First Colorado prepandemic and where enrollment is as a percentage of the population at the conclusion of unwind.  


Data is still incomplete as the 90-day reconsideration period will not conclude until August 2024 and the APCD only includes data through December 2023. More robust information, along with insights from member surveys will inform future improvements to the renewal process. Those insights will be published later in 2024 when they become available.

Ongoing Renewal Support for Members


We appreciate your continued support in raising awareness about Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) enrollment and ongoing eligibility reviews. 


A few ways you can increase awareness and help Keep Coloradans Covered:

  • Print and/or email flyers reminding Health First Colorado and CHP+ members to Prepare for and Take Action when their eligibility is reviewed.
  • Existing members can learn more about renewals by visiting Health First Colorado’s renewal webpage, available in English and Spanish. 
  • Print and/or email the flyers in the KeepCOCovered resource folder to educate people about health care options. 
  • People who do not qualify for Health First Colorado or CHP+ can learn more about other health coverage options on the Health First Colorado webpage, available in English and Spanish.


Reminder: 90 Day Reconsideration Period/Late Renewals


Members can return their renewal packet and any missing information to their county for processing within 90 days of losing coverage and ask for retroactive coverage if they experienced a gap. Members who are determined eligible during the 90-day reconsideration period can request retroactive coverage by contacting their local county or they can request retroactive coverage in PEAK once they are approved and their new eligibility date is known. 


Appeals


Members who disagree with a health care decision have the right to appeal. Learn more about the appeals process and share these new resources with members.


Information about the appeals process available on the Health First Colorado website in English and Spanish helps members understand their rights and explains what they can do if they disagree with a decision about their Health First Colorado coverage. 


Watch the appeals explainer video to learn what kind of decisions can be appealed, and how to:

  • Ask for a formal hearing (state fair hearing)
  • Keep coverage during the appeal process
  • Get help

Join our mailing list


Was this email forwarded to you by a friend, family member, or colleague?


If you like this newsletter and want it delivered to your email once a month, subscribe now!