Advocacy Updates by David Bolin
Preparing for Public Health Emergency Changes
The Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID19 appears headed for renewal in mid-July. We don’t know if the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) will renew for 60 days or 90 days this time. HHS has stated publicly and to State officials that they will provide 60 days’ notice prior to ending the Public Health Emergency (PHE). Typically, renewals have been for a maximum of 90 days, which would extend the PHE until mid-October.
When the PHE ends, every state will have to redetermine financial eligibility for all of their Medicaid recipients. It is anticipated that 15 million current Medicaid recipients nationwide will lose their eligibility for Medicaid. When the PHE ends, every state including Colorado, will have a large backlog of Medicaid paperwork that needs to be processed. This very large amount of work has the potential to cause problems and delays for people who utilize Medicaid for their services. Many Coloradans will lose Medicaid eligibility. The information below is direct from the Colorado Medicaid agency, describing:
- What you need to do prior to the end of the PHE.
- What to do when you receive your redetermination packet in the mail from the State or your County Human Services agency.
These redetermination packets are time-sensitive, and you must return all the requested information by the deadline date in the cover letter. This is very important because no Medicaid recipient has had to complete the Medicaid redetermination process since March 2020. We want to stress the importance of completing your paperwork on time. If you are denied benefits and you believe the determination was wrong, you must appeal in the timeline defined in the denial letter.
To be prepared we encourage all PASCO clients to take the following steps:
- Medicaid needs you to update your contact information: If you have Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) and you’ve moved within the last 3 years, make sure you can get important information about your health coverage.
- You must respond to letters to see if you still qualify for health coverage. Those letters go to your address or email, so it is important that your contact information is up to date.
Updating your address, phone number, and email is quick and easy. You can update your information in one of these ways:
- Visit Colorado.gov/PEAK. If you don’t have a PEAK account, you can create one on the PEAK site.
- Use the Health First Colorado app on your phone. This free app is for Health First Colorado and CHP+ members. Download it for free in the Google Play or Apple App stores. Contact PASCO if you need assistance with this process.
- CHP+ members can call 800-359-1991 (State Relay: 711). Help is available in multiple languages.
- Contact your County Department of Human Services or Social Services to change your contact information. You can find your County office at: https://cdhs.colorado.gov/our-partners/counties/contact-your-county-human-services-department
Actualice su información de contacto
Si tiene Health First Colorado (Programa de Medicaid de Colorado) o Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) y se ha mudado en los últimos 3 años, asegúrese de poder obtener información importante sobre su cobertura de salud.
Tiene que responder a las cartas para ver si aún es elegible para la cobertura de salud. Esas cartas van a su dirección o correo electrónico, por lo que es importante que su información de contacto esté actualizada.
- Actualizar su dirección, número de teléfono y correo electrónico es rápido y sencillo. Puede actualizar su información de una de estas maneras:
- Visite Colorado.gov/PEAK. Si no tiene una cuenta de PEAK, puede crear una en Colorado.gov/PEAK.
- Use la aplicación de Health First Colorado en su teléfono. Esta aplicación gratuita es para miembros de Health First Colorado y CHP+. Descárguela gratis en las tiendas Google Play o Apple Store.
- Los miembros de CHP+ pueden llamar al 1-800-359-1991 (retransmisión estatal: 711). La ayuda está disponible en varios idiomas
Contacte al departamento de servicios humanos de su condado.
Case Management Redesign
The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), the State Medicaid agency, is moving forward on the case management system redesign and will start using the new Assessment and Support Planning Tool in October 2022. This new assessment can take up to 4 hours to complete. Clients/guardians/authorized representatives can opt out of certain parts of the new assessment tool. However, there are required items that must be completed to determine if you meet the level of care for the waiver you want to be on.
We’ve been writing about this change for several months and want you to know that the case management system redesign will affect every client on waiver services. Colorado will be changing its current system of more than 40 Community Centered Boards, Single Entry Points, and private case management agencies to only 21 Case Management Agencies, (CMA) sometime in 2023-2024. You will have to work with the CMA serving your county which is a very big change from the current model.
Advocates are working to provide more choice to Medicaid recipients, but we aren’t making a lot of headway in changing the Department’s plan. In addition to changes to the assessment tool and case management system, Colorado is also moving to a new software system for case management services. The history of Colorado introducing new software for any service (DMV, Driver’s license, CBMS, etc.) has been rocky, to say the least.