Future of Children’s Health Insurance Program in Colorado
Kids and Pregnant Women Could Lose Coverage at the End of January
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2017
Denver, CO – Federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) ended September 30, 2017 when the federal fiscal year ended without Congressional action. Congress can still act at any time to authorize funding coverage, which is known as Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) in Colorado.
Current law allows states to continue using unspent federal fund allotments collected before October 1, 2017. The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing estimates Colorado’s funding will last until January 31, 2018.
Because of this, there are no immediate changes to CHP+ eligibility, enrollment, renewals, or benefits on October 1, 2017. CHP+ benefits will not end until the federal fund allotment Colorado already possesses as of September 30, 2017, runs out.
Today the Department issued the following statement related to funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program:
“It is critically important for children and pregnant women with health coverage through CHP+ to continue using their benefits but also start learning about their coverage options and planning for potential changes,” said Gretchen Hammer, Medicaid Director. “We are and will continue to work closely with Connect for Health Colorado in case Congress does not act in the next four months, as some of the individuals currently covered by CHP+ could qualify for financial assistance to purchase a health plan offered by the marketplace. We encourage families to sign up for electronic notices and informational updates through their PEAK accounts so we can quickly reach them with updates.”
“We are disappointed Congress did not act by the September 30 deadline to continue federal funding for CHIP. Colorado CHP+ members need to know they still have coverage until the federal funds run out at the end of January,” said Susan E. Birch, MBA, BSN, RN, executive director of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. “Congress can still act in the coming months and we are encouraged to see a House committee has a bill scheduled for hearing later this week, along with a previously announced bi-partisan bill from the Senate to continue CHP+ funding.”
The Department is posting regular updates on its Future of CHP+ web page which includes Frequently Asked Questions for members and stakeholders. The Department will also be working with the Health Maintenance Organizations that administer Child Health Plan Plus to send updates directly to members as information is known.
About the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+): Currently more than 75,000 kids and nearly 800 pregnant women are enrolled in CHP+ program. Kids and pregnant women earning up to $5,330 a month (for a family of 4) can qualify for coverage.
About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program) and Child Health Plan Plus as well as a variety of other programs for Coloradans who qualify. For more information about the Department, please visit Colorado.gov/hcpf.