WHAT’S HAPPENING?

During the Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19, state Medicaid programs could not terminate anyone enrolled in benefits due to a provision in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that ensured continuous coverage throughout the pandemic. People kept their coverage even if they were over the income limit or did not meet other program requirements. Now, the PHE has come to an end and states have started to disenroll people who they believe are no longer eligible. In Colorado, the first terminations began on May 31, 2023. 

In spring 2023, Colorado began to send out renewal paperwork that must be filled out, signed, and turned in. It is critical that you open any mail, email, or PEAK communication: Those contain important information about your Medicaid coverage and can help you take action if you learn that you have lost your benefits.

 

¿LO QUE ESTÁ SUCEDIENDO?

Por la duración de la emergencia de salud pública (PHE) debido a COVID-19, los programas estatales del Medicaid no podían terminar los beneficios a nadie debido a la ley federal. Las personas mantenían su cobertura médica aun si sus ingresos estaban por encima del límite o no cumplían con otros requisitos del programa. Ya que se ha acabado el PHE los estados han empezado a terminar los beneficios de las personas quien creen que ya no están elegibles. En Colorado, la primera terminación empezó el 31 de mayo de 2023.  

En la primavera del 2023, Colorado empezó a enviar los paquetes de renovación que deben ser llenados, firmados, y entregados. Es crítico que abran cualquier correo, correo electrónico, o comunicación por PEAK: aquellos contienen información importante sobre tu cobertura del Medicaid y te puede ayudar en tomar medidas si averigües que hayas perdido tus beneficios. 

ENGLISH SURVEY

We know this may feel like a difficult and scary time, and we’re here to listen and to help. 

If you have had your benefits renewed or have lost coverage and want to share information about your experience, please fill out the survey below. The survey will take between 5-25 minutes to complete. That information will remain safe and confidential, and you can share your name or contribute anonymously. You can even share documents if you’d like or volunteer to help with the advocacy efforts. 

Your story will help us better understand issues that Coloradans are facing and can help us advocate for a process that better serves all Coloradans. 

 

 

 

To turn in the survey by email, send it with the subject line “PHE unwind” to kwallat@copolicy.org.

Or for mail use the address:

Colorado Center on Law and Policy
CC: PHE unwind
789 N. Sherman Street, Suite 300
Denver CO, 80203

ENCUESTA ESPAÑOL

Entendemos que este tiempo puede ser difícil y estresante, y estamos aquí para escucharlos y ayudarlos. 

Si tus beneficios han estado renovados o has perdido tu cobertura y te gustaría contarnos de tu experiencia, por favor cumplir la encuesta en el link ubicado abajo. La encuesta tomará entre 5-25 minutos para cumplir. Tu información estará mantenida segura y confidencial- puedes compartir tu nombre o cumplirla anónimamente. Si te gustaría, también tienes la opción de adjuntar documentos, o involucrarse con actividades de promoción.  

Tu historia nos ayudará entender mejor los problemas que se enfrenta la gente de Colorado y puede ayudarnos abogar por un proceso que sirve mejor para la gente de Colorado.  

 

 

Para entregar la encuesta por correo electrónico, envíala con la línea de asunto “PHE Unwind Encuesta” a kwallat@copolicy.org.

O por correo usa la dirección:

Colorado Center on Law and Policy
CC: PHE unwind
789 N. Sherman Street, Suite 300
Denver CO, 80203

LEGAL RESOURCES

Colorado Legal Services

Colorado Legal Services may be able to help. They provide legal help for low-income Coloradans with civil legal needs, and they are free.

Call CLS at 303-837-1313.

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC)

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition has non-lawyer advocates who may be able to help with appeals if you have a disability.

Call CCDC’s main office at 303-839-1775, and you can learn more at ccdconline.org/contact. 

ATTENTION: October 2023: Due to a new policy, if you request an appeal within 60 days after the termination/reduction of your benefits, you will get continuing benefits during your appeal. This means that, by filing the appeal, you will keep your benefits during the appeal process. Additionally, you will not risk having to pay the state back if you lose your appeal. Please note that the guides below reflect an earlier policy and so they are not correct in the way they discuss continuing benefits.

ATENCIÓN: Octubre del 2023: Debido a una nueva política, si solicitas una apelación dentro de 60 días después de la terminación/ reducción de tus beneficios, recibirás una continuación de tus beneficios por la duración de la apelación. Este significa que si solicitas una apelación, no perderás tus beneficios durante el proceso de la apelación. Además, no habrá riesgo de deber dinero al estado ni tienes que pagar el estado por aquellos beneficios si pierdas tu apelación. Nota, por favor, que las guías abajo reflejan una política anterior y están incorrectas en el asunto de la continuación de los beneficios.

Denied Medicaid? Know Your Rights!

If Medicaid has terminated or reduced your benefits and you disagree with that decision, the guides below may help you determine next steps! 

 

With the end of continuous coverage requirements in Medicaid looming ever closer, we expect at least 350,000 Coloradans will lose their Medicaid coverage over the course of the next year. We are excited to introduce our 3 Medicaid Appeals Guides to help community members better understand their rights and how best to utilize these resources.

¿Medicaid Denegado? ¡Conoce Tus Derechos!

¡Si Medicaid ha terminado o reducido tus beneficios y no estás de acuerdo con la decisión, las guías ubicadas abajo pueden ayudarte determinar tus próximos pasos!

El fin de los requisitos de la cobertura continua por Medicaid sigue acercándose. Esperamos que por lo menos 350.000 personas en Colorado pierdan su cobertura de Medicaid a lo largo de este año. Estamos emocionados para presentar nuestras 3 Guías para las Apelaciones de Medicaid para apoyar a la comunidad para que entienda sus derechos y cómo utilizar estos recursos.

Introduction to Medicaid Appeals Webinar

On May 17, 2023, Katie Wallat, CCLP’s Interim Director of Administrative Advocacy presented our Medicaid Appeals Webinar. She introduced our 3 Medicaid Appeals Guides to help community members better understand their rights and how best to utilize these resources.

Seminario web introducción a las apelaciones de Medicaid

El 17 de mayo de 2023, Katie Wallat, abogada senior de CCLP, presentó nuestro seminario web sobre apelaciones de Medicaid. Ella presentó nuestras 3 Guías para las Apelaciones de Medicaid para apoyar a la comunidad para que entienda sus derechos y cómo utilizar estos recursos.

HEALTH:
HEALTH FIRST COLORADO (MEDICAID)

To maintain health and well-being, people of all ages need access to quality health care that improves outcomes and reduces costs for the community. Health First Colorado, the state's Medicaid program, is public health insurance for low-income Coloradans who qualify. The program is funded jointly by a federal-state partnership and is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.

Benefits of the program include behavioral health, dental services, emergency care, family planning services, hospitalization, laboratory services, maternity care, newborn care, outpatient care, prescription drugs, preventive and wellness services, primary care and rehabilitative services.

In tandem with the Affordable Care Act, Colorado expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2013 - providing hundreds of thousands of adults with incomes less than 133% FPL with health insurance for the first time increasing the health and economic well-being of these Coloradans. Most of the money for newly eligible Medicaid clients has been covered by the federal government, which will gradually decrease its contribution to 90% by 2020.

Other populations eligible for Medicaid include children, who qualify with income up to 142% FPL, pregnant women with household income under 195% FPL, and adults with dependent children with household income under 68% FPL.

Some analyses indicate that Colorado's investment in Medicaid will pay off in the long run by reducing spending on programs for the uninsured.

FOOD SECURITY:
SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)

Hunger, though often invisible, affects everyone. It impacts people's physical, mental and emotional health and can be a culprit of obesity, depression, acute and chronic illnesses and other preventable medical conditions. Hunger also hinders education and productivity, not only stunting a child's overall well-being and academic achievement, but consuming an adult's ability to be a focused, industrious member of society. Even those who have never worried about having enough food experience the ripple effects of hunger, which seeps into our communities and erodes our state's economy.

Community resources like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, exist to ensure that families and individuals can purchase groceries, with the average benefit being about $1.40 per meal, per person.

Funding for SNAP comes from the USDA, but the administrative costs are split between local, state, and federal governments. Yet, the lack of investment in a strong, effective SNAP program impedes Colorado's progress in becoming the healthiest state in the nation and providing a better, brighter future for all. Indeed, Colorado ranks 44th in the nation for access to SNAP and lost out on more than $261 million in grocery sales due to a large access gap in SNAP enrollment.

See the Food Assistance (SNAP) Benefit Calculator to get an estimate of your eligibility for food benefits.

FOOD SECURITY:
SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN (WIC)

Every child deserves the nutritional resources needed to get a healthy start on life both inside and outside the mother's womb. In particular, good nutrition and health care is critical for establishing a strong foundation that could affect a child's future physical and mental health, academic achievement and economic productivity. Likewise, the inability to access good nutrition and health care endangers the very integrity of that foundation.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition information for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Research has shown that WIC has played an important role in improving birth outcomes and containing health care costs, resulting in longer pregnancies, fewer infant deaths, a greater likelihood of receiving prenatal care, improved infant-feeding practices, and immunization rates

Financial Security:
Colorado Works

In building a foundation for self-sufficiency, some Colorado families need some extra tools to ensure they can weather challenging financial circumstances and obtain basic resources to help them and their communities reach their potential.

Colorado Works is Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and provides public assistance to families in need. The Colorado Works program is designed to assist participants in becoming self-sufficient by strengthening the economic and social stability of families. The program provides monthly cash assistance and support services to eligible Colorado families.

The program is primarily funded by a federal block grant to the state. Counties also contribute about 20% of the cost.

EARLY LEARNING:
COLORADO CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CCCAP)

Child care is a must for working families. Along with ensuring that parents can work or obtain job skills training to improve their families' economic security, studies show that quality child care improves children's academic performance, career development and health outcomes.

Yet despite these proven benefits, low-income families often struggle with the cost of child care. Colorado ranks among the top 10 most expensive states in the country for center-based child care. For families with an infant, full-time enrollment at a child care center cost an average of $15,140 a year-or about three-quarters of the total income of a family of three living at the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) provides child care assistance to parents who are working, searching for employment or participating in training, and parents who are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program and need child care services to support their efforts toward self-sufficiency. Most of the money for CCCAP comes from the federal Child Care and Development Fund. Each county can set their own income eligibility limit as long as it is at or above 165% of the federal poverty level and does not exceed 85% of area median income.

Unfortunately, while the need is growing, only an estimated one-quarter of all eligible children in the state are served by CCCAP. Low reimbursement rates have also resulted in fewer providers willing to accept CCCAP subsidies.