NEWS UPDATE: Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has formally extended the Public Health Emergency (PHE). The PHE can be extended for up to 90 days at a time. This extension started on Oct. 13, 2022, and will next be evaluated by Jan. 11, 2023. The Biden administration has indicated there will be a 60-day notice period before any end to the PHE. Public Health Emergency (PHE) Overview In January 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Congress subsequently passed legislation that ensured anyone enrolled in Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) was guaranteed to keep their health coverage during the PHE. This applies to kids and pregnant people covered by Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) too. Even though Health First Colorado and CHP+ members will not lose coverage during the PHE, they still receive regular renewal notices each year in the mail and their PEAK inbox. It will be critical for members to complete renewals when the PHE ends. Once the PHE ends, the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) will take 12 months (14 months including noticing) to complete the renewal process for each of the approximately 1.6 million people currently enrolled. It’s essential that members pay attention to renewal notices and fill out the necessary forms to make sure they keep their Health First Colorado and CHP+ coverage if they are still eligible. For the latest information on PHE Planning, visit our webpage: hcpf.colorado.gov/phe-planning.
Preparing for the end of the Public Health Emergency: Resources Update Your Address Campaign* Now available in the top 11 languages for HFC members! Please help us spread the word to Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) members to update their contact information. During the public health emergency (PHE), members stay enrolled in health coverage even if they have household or income changes. At the end of the PHE, many Health First Colorado and CHP+ members will receive a renewal packet to determine if they are eligible for coverage. Members who fail to fill out necessary information may lose their benefits. We know that many members have moved over the past few years. It is crucial that we have correct addresses so that members get the information they need to keep or change their coverage. Thank you to all of the partners who helped develop this campaign, particularly Covering Kids and Families and Colorado Health Policy Coalition! Please use the following resources to spread the word. Update Your Address outreach materials (English and Spanish)
Frequently Asked Questions What should members do to prepare for the end of the PHE? -Update their contact info in PEAK -Sign up for our COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Updates and follow us on social media -Watch for and respond timely to notices -We will post more information, resources and tools online: -For members at HealthFirstColorado.com and Facebook.com/HealthFirstColorado -For partners and stakeholders at hcpf.colorado.gov/phe-planning What is the renewal process? The renewal process (sometimes called redetermination or RRR) for Health First Colorado and CHP+ members occurs annually. Some members will be automatically renewed (ex-parte) based on information we have for them from other data sources. If we are not able to verify a member’s eligibility with existing data, they will have to go through the renewal process to see if they still qualify for coverage. These members will receive a renewal packet asking them if anything about their situation has changed and will request verification to determine whether they still qualify to receive Medical Assistance. This packet can be completed electronically through PEAK, the Health First Colorado App or by mail. This is a new ask! During the PHE, members have received renewals but haven’t needed to return them to keep their coverage. It’s important that members understand that when the PHE ends, they must sign and turn in their renewal online or by mail to continue qualifying for coverage. What if a member no longer qualifies for benefits and loses their coverage? We want all Coloradans to get covered and stay covered. If a member no longer qualifies for Health First Colorado or CHP+, they will receive: -Notice of when their enrollment ends -Information on how to appeal -Information about options for purchasing other health care coverage What are the other health care coverage options? Coloradans who are not eligible for Health First Colorado or CHP+ can purchase health insurance through the state’s official health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado. -Within 60 days of losing their health coverage or -Anytime during the open enrollment period Coloradans who do not qualify for Health First Colorado or CHP+ may be able to get financial help to lower the cost of private health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado. The amount of financial help is based on the cost of the premiums where the applicant lives, how many people are in their household and their estimated yearly income. Learn more at ConnectForHealthCO.com or 855-752-6749: -Get expert help signing up for health coverage by working with a certified assister or broker, online or in person -Browse plans and costs with an easy, anonymous online tool -Find out how much financial help you may qualify for -Get enrolled!Coming Soon More communication tools! The HCPF Communications & Design team has been working with stakeholders to develop a communications toolkit to prepare partners and members for the renewal process to begin once the PHE ends. Look for materials launching this fall! Upcoming Webinar The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) will be hosting an informational session on preparing for the end of the Public Health Emergency. This webinar is geared toward community partners such as advocacy organizations, providers, and community organizations who may provide other assistance to Health First Colorado or CHP+ members (housing, social services, etc). The content includes an overview of communication resources for partners to assist members in preparing for and taking part in the renewal process. We’ll also discuss transitions in coverage for members who may no longer qualify for state-administered programs. When: Nov 17, 2022, 12:30 – 2 p.m. Mountain Time Topic: PHE Unwind Webinar | Community Partners & Advocates Register in advance for this webinar After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.