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CKF Monthly Coalition Update

What's Inside

CKF News
Policy Updates
Outreach & Enrollment
Resources 
Upcoming Calls, Trainings & Events
Jobs
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 July 20, 2018 from 9:00 to 10:30 at 600 Grant Street, Suite 800, Denver CO 80203

CKF News

June Coalition Meeting Notes and Recording
Click here to listen to a recording of the June Coalition Meeting, and here to review the meeting notes.
 
Take 10 Minutes to Complete CKF’s Annual Survey
Please complete CKF’s 2018 Annual Survey available here! CKF is requesting your feedback on several areas of our work to inform the project’s priorities for the next year. The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete, and respondents will have the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. CKF will select three survey respondents at random after all of the responses have been collected.
 
Save the Date for the Building Better Health Conference
Mark your calendar for this year's Building Better Health conference hosted by CKF. The Building Better Health conference is October 15 – 16, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center. It is the only in-person training and networking opportunity in Colorado for all assisters, community-based organizations, advocates, and brokers who help Coloradans enroll in health coverage. The conference will cover health coverage policy updates, preparation for the sixth open enrollment period, outreach and enrollment best practices, Colorado’s eligibility system changes, messaging, communications, and health insurance literacy. In addition to training and resources, attendees will have the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the state. Visit CKF’s website and follow CKF’s Twitter for more updates and announcements. Building Better Health is funded by the Colorado Health Foundation and is planned in partnership with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Connect for Health Colorado, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, the Colorado Division of Insurance, and PEAK Outreach.

Policy Updates

New CMS Medicaid and CHIP Scorecard
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new Scorecard for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Scorecard includes measures voluntarily reported by states, as well as federally reported measures in three areas: state health system performance; state administrative accountability; and federal administrative accountability. CMS created this scorecard to improve transparency and accountability around the administration of these programs, but some experts believe that CMS will have to approach the next Scorecard differently to meet this goal. Click here to see the new CMS Scorecard, and here to read Georgetown Center for Children and Families’ analysis.
 
CMS Changes to Special Enrollment Periods
In a recently finalized rule, CMS made several changes to Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) that took effect on June 18. These changes include a change to the coverage effective date for the SEP for birth/adoption/placement in foster care/court order. People eligible for this SEP can now choose to begin new coverage on the first day of the month following plan selection (instead of the first day of the month following the birth/adoption/placement in foster care/court order). Several other changes were made to SEP rules that do not impact Colorado. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities updated their SEP Reference Chart to reflect these changes. Click here to see their updated SEP Reference Chart.

DOI Statement: Guaranteed Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions in Colorado
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) released a statement about how Colorado law guarantees health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. This statement was released in response to the U.S. Justice Department and the Trump administration’s recent announcement that it would not defend  provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that guarantee health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions from a lawsuit filed by 20 Republican state attorneys general. Interim Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway clarified that guaranteed health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions will be enforced by Colorado law regardless of the administration’s efforts to roll back the provision. Click here to review the statement.

Outreach and Enrollment

New Medical Assistance Paper Application 
HCPF and Connect for Health Colorado released an updated paper application for Medical Assistance on June 8, 2018. Consumers should use the new paper application going forward. The paper application is now available in English and Spanish on HCPF’s website. Click here to find HCPF’s Desk Aid, and here to watch their webinar on the new paper application
 
PEAK Enhancements 
Several enhancements to CBMS and PEAK were made on June 10, 2018 to help decrease processing times, reduce errors, and improve the user experience. Click here to find an overview of these enhancements, and here to watch a webinar about these changes.
 
New Way to Report PEAK Issues 
PEAK issues can now be reported in three ways:
  1. Select the Online Assistance link on the PEAK Home Page (upper right corner) and chat live with PEAK Technical Support Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m to 4:00 p.m.
  2. Call the PEAK Technical Support Call Center toll free at 1-800-250-7741 for PEAK technical assistance.
  3. Send an email describing the issue to CBMS.Help@state.co.us. Please do not send client data via email unless you have an encrypted email system.
Connect for Health CAC Designated Organization Program Application
Connect for Health Colorado released their Certified Application Counselor (CAC) Designated Program Application for organizations that are interested in getting, or maintaining, their CAC status. The application is deadline is July 31, 2018. Click here to find the application and information about the CAC Program.
 
Connect for Health Colorado Enrollment Center Application
Connect for Health Colorado is requesting applications from certified partners to operate Enrollment Centers across the state. Enrollment Centers focus on helping individuals and families apply for Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC) and enroll in qualified health plans (QHPs). The application is deadline is July 31, 2018. Click here to find the application and information about Enrollment Centers.

New Eligibility System Resources from Connect for Health Colorado
Connect for Health Colorado added a timeline for the New Eligibility System to the webpage to inform stakeholders about their process. They are currently seeking feedback on the New Eligibility System and timeline. If you have feedback that you would like to share, you can send a message to NESinput@c4cho.com.  

ACC Phase II Member Messaging Resource Center
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) is launching Phase II of the Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC) on July 1, 2018. The Department began sending letters to Health First Colorado members this month to notify them of the administrative changes that will occur with this launch. HCPF added resources to their ACC Phase II Member Messaging Resource Center to help prepare community-based organizations to answer their clients’ questions about these letters. The Member Messaging Resource Center includes samples of these letters in English and Spanish, talking points to share with clients, and frequently asked questions. Click here to visit the ACC Phase II Member Messaging Resource Center.

Resources

Potential Effects of Public Charge Changes on Health Coverage for Citizen Children 
The Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed the expected impact on kids if an anticipated rule that would change how public charge is determined is implemented. Key findings of the report include that in the U.S., there are approximately 10.4 million citizen children with at least one non-citizen parent, and over half of them had Medicaid or CHIP coverage in 2016. The researchers estimate that the rule change could lead to disenrollment rates of 15 to 35 percent, resulting in up to two million citizen children who drop public health insurance coverage despite remaining eligible. Read the report here.
 
How Does the Tax Bill Affect MAGI?
Health Reform Beyond the Basics, a project from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, wrote an update on the changes coming to Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) as a result of the December 2017 tax law. The tax bill raised the income at which someone must file a tax return, and therefore fewer dependents will need to file. This means that more families can exclude a dependent’s earnings from their household income. The new law also takes alimony off the tax return altogether, effective January 1, 2019. The rules about who can be claimed as a dependent, and household size for Medicaid and marketplace eligibility have not changed. Click here to learn more about how the tax bill affects MAGI.
 
Hunger Free Colorado’s Kids Food Finder
Many children in Colorado are at the greatest risk of hunger during the summer due to lost access to school meals. Hunger Free Colorado is addressing children’s need for healthy meals during the summer through the Kids Food Finder program. This summer program offers free nutritious meals to kids and teens 18 and younger at community sites across Colorado. There are no registration or income requirements for children 18 and younger to participate. Click here to find participating community sites in Colorado or call the Hunger Free Colorado Food Resource Hotline toll-free at (855) 855-4626 to be connected to food resources throughout the state.
 
DHS Museum and Cultural Center Admission Program
Denver Human Services (DHS) Museum and Cultural Center Admission Program allows Coloradans enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to use their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to get $1 admission (per person) to participating museums in Denver and the Denver Zoo. This program is available to all people with an EBT card in Colorado. Click here to find the DHS Museum and Cultural Center Admission Program flier in English and Spanish. 

Many Without Health Insurance Eligible for Subsides, Public Insurance
Colorado Health Institute’s (CHI) report, Colorado’s Eligible but Not Enrolled Population is Holding Steady, explores Colorado’s rate of eligible but not enrolled residents. CHI’s research indicates that about 115,000 uninsured Coloradans were eligible for Medicaid, Child Health Plan plus (CHP+), or financial assistance through the marketplace in 2016. This figure is a slight improvement from 2015, but the reasons behind this population’s lack of coverage provide valuable insight about how this rate can be improved in the future. Click here to read CHI’s report.
 
Connect for Health Colorado Focus Group Report on Purchasing Insurance Privately
Connect for Health Colorado and research team PerryUndem, held a series of focus groups with people who chose to enroll in private health insurance off exchange without APTCs, despite being eligible for APTCs if they enrolled in a marketplace plan. These focus groups provided insight into Coloradans’ decisions to enroll in private insurance, as well as messaging that could help Connect for Health Colorado reach this population during open enrollment. Participants’ feedback showed that the repeal of the individual mandate was not an important factor for this group, and that cost is one of the main issues that impacts prevents them from enrolling in a marketplace plan. Click here to read the report on these findings.
 
Pride and Some Progress: LGB Coloradans Still Face Barriers to Health Care
CHI’s new report utilizes data from the 2017 Colorado Health Access Survey to shed light on the unique issues that impact lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) Coloradans access to health coverage and health care. This research indicates that LBG Coloradans have seen improvements in their access to health coverage and health care, but gaps in areas like mental health care still exist. Click here to read CHI’s report about the unique barriers impacting LBG Coloradans access to health coverage and health care.

Upcoming Calls, Trainings, and Events

DHS Health Navigator Training
Denver Human Services (DHS) offers a navigator training for community partners in and outside of the Denver area. The navigator training includes an overview of food assistance, basic eligibility for Health First Colorado and cash programs, energy assistance, child support, childcare assistance program, PEAK, veteran services, adult protective services, and child welfare. See a list of available dates here. Contact Kathy Crusan-Ford, at Kathleen.Crusan-Ford@denvergov.org or call 720-944-2148 to register. Upcoming trainings include the following: 
  • Wednesday, July 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Friday, July 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Jobs

Community Health Centers are Hiring
Use Colorado Community Health Network’s Mission Driven Careers jobs website to search for jobs in the “Outreach and Enrollment” category. Many Community Health Centers are hiring enrollment professionals including Sunrise Community Health (Enrollment Specialist), Mountain Family Health Centers (O&E Specialist), and Peak Vista Community Health Centers (Medicaid Application Specialist).       

Other Employment Opportunities
Connect for Health Colorado is hiring an Eligibility and Enrollment Analyst and Training and Content Development Manager. Learn more here.     

What We're Reading

Changes to Title X Funding Could Affect Access to Health Care for Millions of Women
This Urban Institute blog post presents findings from their recent survey of Family Planning and Women’s lives to break down the impact of a proposed federal rule on Title X funding. The proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would place restrictions on funding for the Title X family planning program. The program provides $286 million per year to help state public health departments and safety net family planning clinics provide birth control services, pregnancy tests, screenings, and general medical care. Although federal funds currently cannot be used to pay for abortions, the proposed rule would withhold Title X funding from clinics entirely if the clinics or providers refer patients to abortion services. Read the blog post here.

Human Services’ Critical Role in Improving Health Care 
This commentary published in Governing makes the argument that community-based organizations have been doing work to address social determinants of health, but they are historically separate from the health care system. The writer argues for an intentional link between the health care system and the interventions provided by nonprofit human services organizations. Read the article here.     
    
Families of Children with Medical Complexity: A View from the Front Lines
An article written by parents of children with medical complexity gives a first-hand perspective on the demands of managing their children’s care amid a fragmented health care system, inadequate health insurance coverage, deficits in the delivery of medical care, and access issues. The article, published by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, is available here.                                                
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 Policy & Communications Coordinator Cam Goldstein (cam@cchn.org).
Copyright © 2018 Covering Kids and Families, All rights reserved.


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