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Colorado Covering Kids and Families (CKF) February 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
New Call Center for PEAK Technical Support
 
Health Policy
Changes Coming to IEVS Letter and Redetermination Packet
Connect for Health Colorado Providing Tax Form 1095-A to Clients
HHS Proposed Rule Published Would Impact Marketplace Coverage
 
Outreach and Enrollment
Connect for Health Colorado Announces Enrollment Numbers
SEP Resources from Health Reform Beyond the Basics Now Available
 
Funding Opportunities
Caring for Colorado Foundation Grant Proposals Due March 3
 
Resources
March PEAK/CBMS Build Update for Community Partners and County Users Available
New PEAK Video Released
CHI Launches New Series on Federal Health Policy
Interactive Tool Compares ACA Alternate Plans Side-by-Side
March’s HIL Messaging – Know Your Doctors and Health Facilities
Take a Survey to Inform Creation of HIL Resources
Health Insurance Basics
Free Tax Preparation Sites Opening Now
In the Loop Fact Sheet: Individual Responsibility Payment and Exemptions 
How to Respond to Clients about ACA Tax Penalties
NILC “Know Your Rights” Fact Sheet Now in Five Languages
 
Upcoming Calls, Trainings, and Events
DHS Offers Navigator Training
CKF Coalition
March 16, 2017, from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
CCHN (600 Grant St., Ste. 800, Denver)
December 2016 Meeting Notes
February 2016 Meeting Recording
 
CKF Fact Sheet
CKF Meeting and Event Calendar
Contact Liz Tansey with questions
 
New Call Center for PEAK Technical Support
The new PEAK Technical Support Call Center launched last week. The direct number is 1-800-250-7741. The PEAK Technical Support Call Center, housed in the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT), provides direct customer assistance for technical issues related to the use of the Colorado Program Eligibility and Application Kit (PEAK). Assisters who help customers with PEAK applications and account management are also welcome to call for PEAK technical support. Customers and assisters may also continue to send technical questions to the CBMS.help@state.co.us email address instead. The PEAK Technical Support Call Center will respond to both the phone and emailed PEAK technical questions.
 
The PEAK Technical Support Call Center has the ability to transfer customers to the Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) Member Contact Center to assist with benefits and billing-related questions. Although the PEAK Technical Support cannot transfer calls to counties and the Colorado Department of Human Services at this time, there are plans to implement this function in the future. The PEAK Technical Support Call Center will not answer benefits eligibility and/or policy-related questions. Learn more about the PEAK Technical Support Call Center here.
 
Health Policy

Changes Coming to IEVS Letter and Redetermination Packet

In mid-March, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) is updating the letters clients receive when they are asked to verify their income, and when it is time for their annual redetermination, based on feedback from stakeholders and members. HCPF updated the letter's look, language, and feel to make the letter easier to read. Also starting in March, members will be able to respond to the income verification letter using the Colorado.gov/PEAK website. This project is not changing the policy or rules for when an IEVS letter is sent.
 
HCPF is holding webinars on both changes. CKF encourages CKF coalition members to attend each of the webinars. See below for webinar information:
  • Join HCPF and PEAK Outreach for a webinar to walk through the upcoming changes to the revised income verification letter, also called the Income Eligibility and Verification System (IEVS) letter, and the new process to respond to an the letter through PEAK. The webinar will be held on March 14 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Register for the webinar here.
  • Join HCPF for a webinar to walk through changes to the redetermination packet for Health First Colorado and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) which will begin to be sent out in March 2017. The webinar will be held on March 16 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Register for the webinar here.
Connect for Health Colorado Providing Tax Form 1095-A to Clients
Connect for Health Colorado is sending all clients enrolled in the individual marketplace in 2016 their Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, or Form 1095-A, to help them complete their federal income tax filings.Form 1095-A is specifically used to complete Form 8962 and includes information about what clients paid for health insurance; what, if any, tax credit they received; and the information that was used to determine the amount of their tax credit. The forms were sent by January 31, 2017, through the mail and are being posted to clients’ Connect for Health Colorado accounts, In addition to Form 1095-A, some Coloradans will receive Form 1095-B if they or a family member received Health First Colorado, CHP+, or other public health coverage benefits for any part of the year. Employees with health coverage through their employers will receive Form 1095-B or 1095-C. Click here for more 2016 tax information from Connect for Health Colorado.
 
HHS Proposed Rule Published Would Impact Marketplace Coverage
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a rule that, among other things, would make changes in special enrollment periods (SEPs), grace periods, and the open enrollment period. Some of the proposed changes would include: requiring people applying through a SEP to provide verification of the qualifying life change event; shortening the open enrollment period for 2018 coverage to span from November 1 until December 15, 2017, instead of going until January 31, 2018; and would allow a carrier to require a client to pay any unpaid premium from the previous coverage year before enrolling in a new coverage year. These rules are open for comment until March 7 here. When available, CKF will provide an update on the finalized rules.
 
Outreach and Enrollment
 
Connect for Health Colorado Announces Enrollment Numbers
The fourth open enrollment ended on February 3 with over 175,000 Coloradans enrolled in qualified health plans through the Connect for Health Colorado for 2017. This is a 12 percent increase over the previous year’s open enrollment period. Read the full press release here.
 
SEP Resources from Health Reform Beyond the Basics Now Available
Need a refresher on Qualifying Life Change Events and SEPs? Health Reform Beyond the Basics recently updated their SEP Reference Chart, and hosted a webinar on February 9. A recording of the webinar and webinar slides are available here.

Funding Opportunities

Caring for Colorado Foundation Grant Proposals Due March 3

The Caring for Colorado Foundation is accepting proposals until March 3 that fit the funding priorities of oral health, mental health, healthy children and youth, and community health. Learn more about the priorities and how to apply here
 
Resources

March PEAK/CBMS Build Update for Community Partners and County Users Available
PEAK and the Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS) will be updated on March 19. See the CBMS/PEAK March 2017 Updates for Community Partners and County Users for more information.  
 
New PEAK Video Released
OIT produced a new video to help increase awareness of the PEAK online application. The video features actual clients and can be used in lobbies, on websites, and on social media. The video is available on YouTube here.
 
CHI Launches New Series on Federal Health Policy
This week the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) launched a new series that will analyze how federal health policy options could impact Colorado. The series, called re: ACA, will analyze the legacy of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), block grants or per capita caps for Medicaid, using high-risk pools to covered people with pre-existing health conditions, and paying for health care through health savings accounts. The first report, Impact of the Affordable Care Act Understanding How the Law Has Changed Coverage and Costs in Colorado, is available now.
 
Interactive Tool Compares ACA Alternate Plans Side-by-Side
The Kaiser Family Foundation released an interactive tool to compare the alternate plans that have been proposed by Republicans so far, to replace the ACA. See the tool here.
 
March’s HIL Messaging – Know Your Doctors and Health Facilities
One of the most critical, and most often understood, aspects of using health insurance wisely and avoiding unexpected cost is knowing the insurer’s network including doctors and health facilities. Join the health insurance literacy (HIL) movement by helping get the word out this month about ensuring consumers understand their network options. Learn more about communicating with consumers, messaging for stakeholders, and get sample newsletter and social media messages.
 
Take a Survey to Inform Creation of HIL Resources
CKF is part of a workgroup of government, advocacy, and provider groups working to improve HIL and people’s ability to use their health insurance to improve their health and the health of their families. The workgroup seeks help to ensure we are working on topics and resources that will make the most impact. Please take a moment to give us your thoughts by completing a brief survey. The survey will be open for responses through March 10.
 
Health Insurance Basics
Help clients understand health insurance terms when shopping for insurance. A user-friendly guide is available from Families USA’s website that explains premiums, deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, and out-of-pocket cost.  Connect for Health Colorado consumers can visit Connect for Health Colorado’s What to Expect webpage for next steps as well as the Using Your Health Insurance webpage for tips and suggestions on how to get the most from their health insurance.
 
Free Tax Preparation Sites Opening Now
Many Colorado families count on their tax refunds to help make ends meet. Tax Help Colorado has over 25 sites around the state offering free tax preparation to Coloradans who earned $54,000 or less last year. More than 100 other Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA sites are available in Colorado. Find out when the free tax site near you opens by calling 2-1-1 or visiting our free tax site lookup tool. 
 
In the Loop Fact Sheet: Individual Responsibility Payment and Exemptions  
The national assister network In the Loop created a fact sheet, Individual Responsibility Payment and Exemptions, that explains the cost of the individual responsibility payment (the payment some consumers may have to pay if they do not have health insurance) and how to file an exemption for the payment. Two things to note: 
  • The method for claiming an exemption in three cases has changed so that a consumer must ask for the exemption from the Internal Revenue Service rather than the Marketplace. Those exemptions are: 1) membership in a healthcare sharing ministry, 2) membership in a federally-recognized Indian tribe, or 3) incarceration status must claim them on their tax return rather than apply through the marketplace.
  • In 2017, consumers will be eligible for affordability exemptions if the lowest-cost plan available to them is more than 8.16 percent of their income, up from 8.13 percent in 2016.
How to Respond to Clients about ACA Tax Penalties
Kaiser Health News published a question and answer article which may help assisters answer client questions about if they need to pay the tax penalty for not having health insurance this year. See the article here.
 
NILC “Know Your Rights” Fact Sheet Now in Five Languages
The National Immigration Law Center’s (NILC) “Know Your Rights” fact sheet is now available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Korean. This fact sheet helps educate individuals on their rights, when talking with Immigration and Customs Enforcement or other law enforcement officers at home, on the street, or elsewhere. See the fact sheet here.

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 trainings will be held:
  • March 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 1200 Federal Blvd., Room 1019, Denver
  • April 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 1200 Federal Blvd., Room 1019, Denver
Copyright © 2017 Covering Kids and Families, All rights reserved.


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Contact CKF Staff:

Kristen Pieper, Senior Project Manager
kristen@cchn.org, 303-867-9526

Stephanie Brooks, Policy Analyst
sbrooks@cchn.org, 303-867-9529

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

Jess Rosenthal, Outreach and Enrollment Learning Collaborative Project Lead
jrosenthal@cchn.org303-867-9555






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