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CKF Monthly Coalition Update

What's Inside

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

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

Next Meeting

CKF did not hold a meeting in July. The August Coalition Meeting will be held on August 17, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

Policy Updates

DOI’s Preliminary Plan Rate Filings
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) released preliminary 2019 health insurance information from health insurance companies, including the companies’ plan offerings and premiums, also called filings. A total of 16 insurance companies plan to offer 808 individual and small group plans for 2019. Seven insurance companies plan to offer 124 individual market plans through Connect for Health Colorado. The average premium increase request for individual plans is 5.94 percent across all companies and metal levels. This is the smallest increase DOI has seen in years. In addition to these improvements, one insurance company is requesting a rate decrease for individual market plans in 2019. DOI plans to publish the final 2019 plan rates in late summer or early fall. Click
here to read DOI’s press release, and here to review their Health Insurance Filings. 

HCPF Informational Memos
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) released three informational memos about changes to the Children’s Habilitation Residential Program (CHRP) Waiver, Children with Autism Waiver (CWA), and the Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) website. The memos include information about the end of the CWA Waiver, an expansion to CHRP Waiver eligibility requirements, and a correction that was made to the MSP webpage.
Click the following links to find each memo:
Risk Adjustment Payments Reinstated in Final Rule
The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) issued a final
rule on July 24, 2018 that resumes the Affordable Care Act’s risk adjustment payment program. This rule reverses a decision issued approximately two weeks ago in which the Trump administration announced their decision to freeze risk adjustment payments to insurers. The earlier announcement was made in response to a federal district court decision that found that these payments were based on flawed rules. This week’s final rule addresses the issues raised by the federal judge and clears the way for the government to begin making payments again. Click here to read about CMS’ final rule.
New Association Health Plan Regulation
The United States Department of Labor finalized a
regulation on June 21 that loosens the rules to allow additional association health plans to enter the market. Association health plans allow small businesses to band together to buy insurance. Under the regulation, new association health plan members can be connected by geography alone or by business and professional interests, rather than by economic or other common purpose as had been the requirement. This change allows more small businesses to join these plans, but critics are concerned about the regulation’s impact on premiums in the individual and small-group markets. The regulation’s impact on Colorado is unclear, but CKF expects DOI to publish rules about association health plans soon. Click here to read Kaiser Health Foundation’s article about association health plans and the Trump administration’s rule.

Outreach and Enrollment

Member FAQs on the Accountable Care Collaborative Changes and Letters
HCPF recently posted frequently asked questions (FAQ) for Health First Colorado members about changes to the Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC). The page answers questions clients may have about regional organizations, letters recently sent to members about their primary care provider, how to change their provider, and other common questions. See the list of FAQs
Member Enrollment in Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente recently announced changes to its participation with Health First Colorado. As of July 1, 2018, Kaiser Permanente no longer serves as a Medicaid Primary Care Medical Provider (PMCP) outside of the Denver and Boulder area. Kaiser Permanente sent letters to impacted Health First Colorado members in late June to notify them of this change. These members were assigned to a new PCMP and regional organization using HCPF’s attribution methodology. Click
here to learn more about this change on HCPF’s Member-Facing FAQs page.


CMS Reports on the Performance of the Exchanges and Individual Health Insurance Market
CMS released three reports that provide information on the current condition of the federal and state-based exchanges, and state individual health insurance markets. The reports include data on effectuated exchange enrollment for 2017 and 2018, overall trends on the performance of the exchange, and trends in subsidized and unsubsidized individual market enrollment from 2014 to 2017. In addition, the reports contain state-specific data that highlights Colorado’s increased percentage of enrollees accessing Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC) over the past few years. This year, Colorado’s percentage of enrollees accessing APTC hit a high of 74 percent. Click the following links to find each report:
A Next Step for Medicaid Reform in Colorado: New Blog by CHI
Colorado Health Institute’s (CHI) new blog post summarizes the goals of the Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC), and the impact of Phase II on care coordination for Health First Colorado members. The blog post examines the changes that went into effect on July 1, 2018, to improve Health First Colorado members’ access to primary and behavioral health care. Click
here for the post.

National KIDS COUNT Data Book
The national “KIDS Count Data Book” by the Annie E. Casey Foundation uses data to assess child well-being across the country. The book ranks Colorado 20th in child well-being and highlights the risks of undercounting young Colorado children in the 2020 census. According to the foundation’s data, one in five of Colorado’s youngest children is at risk of not being counted. This potential undercount could impact federal funding for programs that ensure child well-being and family stability. Click here to learn about child well-being in Colorado, and the importance of counting Colorado children in the 2020 census.
Economic Policy Institute Report Highlights Income Inequality in Colorado
A report titled “The New Gilded Age: Income Inequality in the U.S. by State, Metropolitan Area, and County” by the Economic Policy Institute found that Colorado ranked 20th in income inequality in the United States in 2015. The data showed that income inequality in Colorado is rapidly increasing, with the top one percent of employees capturing 44 percent of all income growth in the past 45 years. Click
here to read the report, and here to read Colorado Center on Law and Policy’s blog post about the report’s key findings.
New Colorado Department of Human Services Mobile App
The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) debuted a new app for clients to manage their benefits. The MYCOBenefits mobile app can be used to manage Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed), Colorado Works, and Adult Financial benefits. See a Denver Post YourHub article about the app

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. Contact Kathy Crusan-Ford, at or call 720-944-2148 to register. Upcoming trainings include the following:
  • Friday, August 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 29  from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Hunger Free Colorado Rural Enrollment Manager
Hunger Free Colorado is seeking an experienced advocate to serve rural communities. The Rural Enrollment Manager will be responsible for building relationships and capacity with local regional partners to provide SNAP application screening and assistance. Click
here to learn more about this position.

Colorado Community Health Network Health Center Operations Specialist
Colorado Community Health Network is seeking a Health Center Workforce Specialist. The person in this position will be responsible for coordinating projects within the organization’s Health Center Operations Division and providing technical assistance to Community Health Center members. Click
here to learn more about this opportunity.

What We're Reading

Do Poor People Have A Right to Health Care?
An opinion piece called, “Do Poor People Have a Right to Health Care?” by the editorial board of the New York Times discusses a federal judge’s recent decision to block Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirements plan. The piece explores how the lawsuit reflects a larger debate within the United States about whether health care is a human right or an earned privilege. Click
here to learn more about the lawsuit, and Americans’ differing opinions on this issue.

Most Workers in Low-Wage Labor Market Work Substantial Hours, in Volatile Jobs
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ new report analyzes the labor market for individuals who are most likely to need access to SNAP or Medicaid benefits. Their assessment of the low-wage labor market makes it clear that imposing work requirements would make it difficult for low-income people to meet these requirements. Click
here to read the full report.
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 (
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