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Colorado Covering Kids and Families (CKF) October 2017 Coalition Update is now available on the CKF website, and below. To see previous coalition updates, click here.

In this issue you will find:
CKF News
Coalition Meeting
Promising Practices in Outreach and Enrollment Report
BBH Resources
 
Policy Updates
Overview of CSR Changes
Future of CHIP in Colorado
PAR Approval Letters
Health First Colorado Co-pay Limit
New Dispute Resolution Conference Rule
Medicare Premiums Decrease
 
Outreach and Enrollment
PEAK Support
 
Technology Updates
PEAK September Build Updates Webinar
 
Resources
October’s Health Insurance Literacy Messaging
Comparing Federal Government Surveys on the Uninsured
 
Upcoming Calls, Trainings, and Events
DHS Navigator Training
HCPF Webinar on the New Medical Assistance Eligibility Notice of Action
Assisting People with Disabilities Enroll in Health Coverage
Immigrant Eligibility for Coverage Programs
OE5 Plan Selection Strategies for Assister Programs
 
Jobs
County Engagement Coordinator- Connect for Health Colorado
QA Analyst/Business Acceptance Tester- Connect for Health Colorado
 
CKF Coalition
November 16, 2017, from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
CCHN (600 Grant St., Ste. 800, Denver)

 

 
CKF Fact Sheet
CKF Meeting and Event Calendar
Contact Cam Goldstein with questions
 
 
CKF News

Coalition Meeting
Click here to listen to a recording of our October coalition meeting. CKF will distribute notes from the meeting later this week.
 
Promising Practices in Outreach and Enrollment Report
A new report from Colorado Covering Kids and Families and the Colorado Health Foundation showcases the most promising outreach and enrollment (O&E) practices in Colorado. The report, Promising Practices in Outreach and Enrollment: Lessons Learned from Colorado’s Outreach and Enrollment Learning Collaborative, highlights innovative approaches that organizations can utilize to strengthen their O&E programs. Click here to view the full report and other materials.
 
BBH Resources
Are you looking for a way to review what you learned at the Building Better Health (BBH) conference, or find out what you missed? CKF has added the resources from the conference to our website. Click here to review the slides and handouts from each session at BBH.
 
Policy Updates

Overview of CSR Changes
On October 12, the President announced that the federal government would no longer make Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) payments to health insurance companies selling plans on health insurance exchanges. This change is effective immediately. In response, the Colorado Division of Insurance announced that they had planned for this possibility by requesting two sets of health insurance rates for the upcoming plan year from the insurance carriers; one set that includes CSR payments, and another set that does not. The DOI will now use the set of rates that do not include the CSR payments. These rates reflect a 6 percent premium increase, on average, for all marketplace plans. Connect for Health Colorado will be prepared with these newer rates in time for the open enrollment period beginning November 1.
 
Key points:
  • Consumers eligible for premium tax credits and CSRs will still be able to receive them.
  • Consumers who receive advanced premium tax credits will likely see an increase in the amount of premium tax credit they qualify for, and a decrease in the amount of premium they will owe each month.
  • Consumers not eligible for advanced premium tax credits will likely see an increase in their premium and out-of-pocket costs.
A federal legislative solution that would fund CSR payments for two years has been proposed by Senators Alexander and Murray, however it is unclear if the bill will move forward at this time.
 
For more, please see the DOI statement here, and the Connect for Health Colorado statement here.
 
Future of CHIP in Colorado
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) released a statement regarding the future of Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). Federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program ended on September 30, 2017. States will continue to use unspent federal fund allotments granted before October 1, 2017. HCPF estimates that Colorado’s current funding will last until the end of January 2018. There are no immediate changes to CHP+, and CHP+ benefits will not end until Colorado’s federal allotment runs out. HCPF has emphasized the importance of children, and pregnant women, continuing to utilize their benefits during this time. Congress can still act at any time to authorize funding, and the House and Senate both reported bills out of the committee that would extend CHIP funding for five years. Final legislation will still require action by the full House and Senate, and a signature by the President. The department is continuing to post regular updates on its Future of CHP+ page to inform stakeholders.
 
PAR Approval Letters
HCPF announced that as of November 1, 2017, Health First Colorado members will no longer receive Prior Authorization Request (PAR) approval letters in the mail. These letters are not necessary to show that the PAR was approved, or to receive approved medication. Members can request a paper copy of their PAR approval letters by contacting the Health First Colorado Member Contact Center at 1-800-221-3943/State Relay 711. The Department will continue to send PAR denial letters to members.
 
Health First Colorado Co-pay Limit
Health First Colorado members will begin receiving letters when they have met their co-pay maximum for the month starting October 1, 2017. The head of household will receive a letter that notifies them when they have reached their monthly limit, and explains how their household’s co-pay maximum was calculated. Once a member has spent five percent of their monthly household income on co-pays, no one in their household should pay any additional co-pays for the remainder of the month. HCPF has encouraged Health First Colorado members to make sure their information is up to date so that they continue to receive important Department correspondence. Click here for more information.
 
New Dispute Resolution Conference Rule
HCPF published an agency letter and summary of frequently asked questions  regarding the new dispute resolution conference rule pertaining to Health First Colorado recipients, effective October 1, 2017. The rule states that in addition to an opportunity for a hearing, a recipient shall have an opportunity to have their approval, denial, termination, suspension, or reduction of Medicaid benefits resolved through an informal dispute resolution conference.
 
Medicare Premiums Decrease
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the Medicare Advantage average monthly premiums will decrease by $1.91 to $30 in 2018. CMS projects that enrollment in Medicare Advantage will increase by nine percent in 2018. CMS also anticipates the average monthly premium for a basic Medicare prescription drug plan in 2018 will decrease by $1.20, to an estimated $33.50 per month. Click here to see the full announcement.
 
Outreach and Enrollment

PEAK Technical Support Center
The PEAK Technical Support Center offers support to clients and assisters who are experiencing technical difficulties with the PEAK website including password resets. Users can contact the support call center at 1-800-250-7741, or message the help desk at CBMS.Help@state.co.us. Click here to learn more about the PEAK Technical Support Center.
 
Technology Updates
 
PEAK September Build Updates Webinar
The PEAK Outreach team published a webinar that explains the technological changes that have been implemented in the PEAK website in September. The webinar covers changes impacting features such as account creation, updated help language, limits to multiple changes, and marketplace Real Time Eligibility (RTE) message updates.
Click here to view the recorded webinar.
 
Resources

October’s Health Insurance Literacy Messaging- Getting Ready for Open Enrollment
Open enrollment is an annual opportunity for consumers to enroll into a health insurance plan, or change their plan without a qualifying life event. Learn more about communicating with consumers about how they can utilize their benefits, messaging for stakeholders, and get sample newsletter and social media messages.
 
Comparing Federal Government Surveys on the Uninsured
The State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) released an update to their annual brief, "Comparing Federal Government Surveys that Count the Uninsured: 2017". This brief presents research on the current and historical national estimates of the size of the uninsured population, along with the most recent available state-level estimates from four federal surveys: The American Community Survey (ACS), the Current Population Survey (CPS), the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey  (MEPS-HC), and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The brief illustrates the differences between these estimates, as well as the varying survey practices that shaped the reported rates of uninsured persons.

Upcoming Calls, Trainings, and Events

DHS Offers Navigator Training
Denver Human Services (DHS) offers a navigator training for community partners. The navigator training includes an overview of the programs DHS offers, including food assistance, basic eligibility for Health First Colorado and cash programs, energy assistance, child support, childcare assistance program, PEAK, and a brief overview of the ACA. For more information and to register, please contact Kathy Crusan-Ford, Agency Trainer for SNAP Into Health, at Kathleen.Crusan-Ford@denvergov.org. The upcoming training will be held:
  • Wednesday, November 15 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 17  from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.1200 Federal Blvd., Room 1019, Denver
HCPF Webinar on the New Medical Assistance Eligibility Notice of Action
The Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS) will begin sending out a new eligibility Notice of Action (NOA) soon. The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and Connect for Health Colorado will host training webinars on the new Medical Assistance NOA. The original dates for the webinars have been cancelled and will be rescheduled. CKF  will send more information as it becomes available.  
 
Assisting People with Disabilities Enroll in Health Coverage
Health Reform: Beyond the Basics is offering a webinar on October 25 from 12:00 p.m.- 1:00 p.m. MDT that will include a special presentation about how to best assist someone with a disability navigate the Marketplace. The webinar will also provide an introduction to resources available through the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC). Click here to register.
 
Immigrant Eligibility for Coverage Programs
Health Reform: Beyond the Basics is offering a webinar in partnership with the National Immigrant Law Center on October 24 from 11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. MDT that will provide an overview of immigrant eligibility policies for health insurance affordability programs. Click here to register.
 
OE5 Plan Selection Strategies for Assister Programs
Health Reform: Beyond the Basics is offering a webinar for enrollment site program managers that will include an analysis of 2018 plan offerings to better understand changes in the plans available to consumers in the region. The webinar will help prepare enrollment site program managers for the impact of recent changes in plan prices, and inform plan selection strategies to tailor the plan comparison and selection process to meet consumers’ needs. The presentation will also include time for Q&A as well as peer-to-peer sharing of best practices among the participants. Click here to register.
 
Jobs

County Engagement Coordinator - Connect for Health Colorado
 
QA Analyst/Business Acceptance Tester - Connect for Health Colorado
Copyright © 2017 Covering Kids and Families, All rights reserved.


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Contact CKF Staff:

Stephanie Brooks, Senior Project Manager
sbrooks@cchn.org, 303-867-9529

Liz Tansey, Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator
ltansey@cchn.org, 303-867-9527

Cam Goldstein, Policy and Communications Coordinator
cam@cchn.org, 303-867-9522






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