View this email in your browser

Monthly Coalition Update

What's Inside

CKF News
Policy Updates
Outreach & Enrollment
Upcoming Calls, Trainings & Events
What We're Reading 

This and previous updates are available on the CKF website, here.

Past Meeting

Click here to listen to a recording of the meeting, and here to review the meeting notes

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be Nov. 16, 2018 from 9:00 to 10:30 at 600 Grant Street, Suite 800, Denver CO 80203

CKF News

Thank You for Joining us at the Building Better Health Conference!
We loved seeing so many new and familiar faces last week at the Building Better Health conference. Thank you for joining us! Resources from the conference are being added to this page on the CKF website. Please contact Liz Tansey ( with questions.

New Logo!
Did you notice we have a new look? After 15 years, we have a new logo. We'll be rolling it out on our materials, website, and emails over the course of the next few weeks. And we look forward to showing you our refreshed website soon, too. Stay tuned for more in November.

Policy Updates

Proposed Changes to Public Charge Announced; Comments Due Dec. 9
Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security published a proposal to change a longstanding part of federal immigration law called the “public charge” test. A public charge is someone who is likely to become primarily dependent on government programs for subsistence. When the government determines that a person is likely to become a public charge through this test, it can deny the person admission to the U.S. or deny a person’s application to adjust their status to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status – also referred to as “green card” status. The current public charge test only looks at monetary benefits, such as cash assistance and government-funded long-term institutionalization. The proposed rule makes fundamental changes to the current public charge test, such as considering the individual’s income; use of public benefits like Medicaid, food assistance, and housing assistance; and the health status of the individual.
As a reminder, this is not yet in effect; it is a proposed rule change. We still have time to stand up against this proposal which the Colorado Health Institute estimates would cause 75,000 people in Colorado to lose health coverage. The key method to fight this change is through public comment. The deadline to submit comments is Dec. 9. Comments can be submitted by an organization or an individual, but only one set of comments may be submitted per individual or organization.
The Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) compiled template comments to help individuals and organizations comment. The template includes tips for using the template and how to write public comments. This template and other helpful resources on public charge are listed below: Please contact CKF Senior Project Manager, Stephanie Brooks (, with questions and concerns. CKF plans to write and submit comments which we will share within the next month.
Opioid Bill Includes Expansion of Former Foster Care Medicaid
The Senate voted on Oct. 3 to pass the “SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act,” a bipartisan package intended to address the opioid epidemic. The legislation is still awaiting the president’s signature, but it is expected to be signed. Within the bill are several provisions that make changes to state Medicaid programs. Notably, under current Medicaid rules only youth who aged out of foster care in Colorado are eligible for Colorado’s former foster care Medicaid. With the passage of this new bill, states will now be required to offer former foster care Medicaid until the age of 26 regardless of what state the person lived in when they received foster care. In other words, youth who aged out of foster care in other states will now be eligible for Colorado’s former foster care Medicaid. States are required to implement this change by 2023. Read the bill section-by-section summary here. CKF will continue to follow this and keep the CKF coalition informed about implementation. 

Outreach and Enrollment

Open Enrollment is Around the Corner
The open enrollment period begins Nov. 1 and extends through Jan. 15 in Colorado. Connect for Health Colorado recently transitioned to their New Eligibility System which will now be used to determine eligibility for people who qualify for Qualified Health Plans, Advanced Premium Tax Credits, and Cost Sharing Reductions. See resources for assisters here, and an FAQ about the new system here.
October PEAK and CBMS Enhancements.
See what changes were made to PEAK and the Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS) in this one-pager from the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT), and view the PEAK Outreach Initiative webinar on the October changes here.
Medicare Plan Finder Tool Now Available
Use the Medicare Plan Finder tool on to search for plans by zip code. The tool also includes a cost calculator to help consumers compare general costs between traditional coverage and Medicare Advantage plans based on their zip code and health status. View the tool here.
Medicare Cards Being Sent Now
New cards are now being sent to Colorado’s Medicare beneficiaries. A sample of the new cards can be seen here. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) cautions that scammers may be using this opportunity to take advantage of seniors. As a reminder, beneficiaries will never be asked to pay for a new Medicare card or to provide their Social Security Number or bank account number to someone who claims to be from Medicare. See DORA’s full consumer advisory here.


Outreach in an Anti-Immigrant Climate
Health Outreach Partners developed a booklet to give community-based organizations ideas and resources for doing outreach in an anti-immigrant climate. Download the booklet, recently updated in 2018, here.
Colorado Low-Income Energy Assistance Program begins Nov. 1
The Colorado Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) will begin accepting applications on Nov. 1. LEAP is a federally-funded program that helps eligible working Colorado families, seniors, and individuals pay a portion of their winter home heating costs. It is not intended to pay the entire cost of home heating, but to help alleviate some of the burden associated with the colder months. See the state website with program eligibility here.

PEAK Technical Support Call Center and Help Desk
Use the PEAK Technical Support Call center number (1-800-250-7741) or email the PEAK Help Desk ( to receive client assistance for technical issues related to PEAK. Click here for more information. Please continue to send questions and issues related to benefit eligibility to the client's County of Residence.

Upcoming Calls, Trainings, and Events

Sign up for Health Reform Beyond the Basics Webinars
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers webinars to refresh assisters’ understanding of key policies and processes related to health coverage through their Health Reform Beyond the Basics website. Topics include Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) methodology, premium tax credits, determining household size, and immigrant eligibility and enrollment. These webinars provide an excellent overview for new staff or refreshers for existing staff. Webinars are recorded and posted after the live webinar. See the list of past and upcoming webinars here.
Caring for Colorado Foundation Community Conversations Tour
The Caring for Colorado Foundation is touring the state asking for feedback on community needs to shape the Foundation’s future funding opportunities. The Community Conversations Tour will target nine areas of Colorado between now and March. See a list of areas below, and register for an event here.
  • Northwest – November 1 and 2
  • Eastern Plains – December 12
  • Northeast – January 16 and 17
  • Southeast – January 30 and February 1
  • Western Slope – February 19 – 21
  • Heart of the Rockies – March 5 and 6
  • San Luis Valley – March 13 and 14


Community Health Centers are Hiring Outreach and Enrollment Staff
Many Community Health Centers are hiring for outreach and enrollment positions. Visit the job board and select the “outreach and enrollment” category by clicking here.

What We're Reading

Coloradans pay more as hospital building spree leads to empty beds and profits nearly twice the national average – Denver Post, Oct. 4, 2018 
Poll: Colorado Voters’ Top Issues for Gubernatorial Race Are Education, Health Care and Housing – Kaiser Family Foundation, Oct. 10, 2018
1,495 Americans Describe the Financial Reality of Being Really Sick – New York Times, Oct. 17, 2018
Colorado Covering Kids and Families (CKF) is a statewide, coalition-based project focused on increasing low-income Coloradans’ access to affordable health coverage. This monthly newsletter compiles what health coverage assisters need to know each month in one spot. 

For questions or feedback, please contact CKF's Senior Project Manager, Stephanie Brooks (
Copyright © 2018 Covering Kids and Families, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp