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As of June 27, 2016, Medicaid, Colorado’s public health insurance program for low-income Coloradans who qualify, is called “Health First Colorado.” This change does not affect member benefits, choice of providers or eligibility. This change also does not affect provider billing processes.
The Department has several resources for stakeholders, providers, community organizations, contractors and other partners to introduce the new name, describe how the Department is updating member communications and provide resources to help communicate the change to members and the general public.
A new name and logo are being introduced to represent Colorado’s modernized approach to public health care coverage. Over the past few years, the program has profoundly transformed, with a focus on creating value by improving members’ health outcomes and spending health dollars more effectively.
The new name and logo better represents the program’s value as a consumer-friendly health coverage option for Coloradans who qualify. The new name and look is also designed to appeal to providers, contractors and other stakeholders who help deliver services to our one million members.
See below for more information and frequently asked questions about this change.
Why is Medicaid changing its name and look?
Over the last four years Medicaid has profoundly transformed, with a focus on creating value by improving our members’ health outcomes and spending our health dollars more effectively. Good health and access to affordable health care are the very foundation of a productive, engaged life. Medicaid provides that foundation for over a million people in Colorado and through the new name and logo, the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing is proudly conveying the critical importance of the services we and our partners provide. The new look and name aligns with the Department’s focus on customer service, member engagement and a commitment to do our work in a way that is person-centered.
Tell me more about the name and logo.
The name, Health First Colorado, reflects messages that the Department heard from members and eligible members in focus groups conducted by a third party. The logo is abstract and different people see different things when they look at it. The Department believes that it reflects a commitment to working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders and reflects the diversity of the members we serve.
How was the name and logo selected and who made this decision?
The Department contracted with a third party facilitator to conduct focus groups that included current and prospective Medicaid members. The focus groups provided input on the name, logo and messaging associated with the new look and name. Additionally, health care leaders throughout the state and Department staff provided input via a survey. The final decision on the new name and logo was made by the Department leadership team.
Are there any changes to member eligibility or benefits associated with the new name and look?
There are no changes to member eligibility, coverage or enrollment processes associated with the new name and look.
How will this change be funded?
The Department received a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation that funded the development of the new name and logo, including the member focus groups and graphic design. The Department is seeking additional grant funding from several local foundations to cover the public launch, including an advertising campaign. The Department will also use existing communication channels, including non-paid media outreach, website, social media and member communications, as well as partner with contractors, partners and other stakeholders, to introduce the new name and logo.
Did the Medicaid name change require legislative approval?
No, the Medicaid name change did not require legislative approval.
What public assistance programs will be affected by this change?
The Health First Colorado name and logo will only directly replace the name “Colorado Medicaid.” Other programs managed by the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing, including Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) and Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP), and public assistance programs managed by other state health agencies, will not be affected by this change.
How will the new name and logo relate to Connect for Health Colorado?
Connect for Health Colorado is the state insurance marketplace, or exchange, that opened in 2013 to help Coloradans purchase health insurance. Connect for Health Colorado works with the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing to enrolled Coloradans in coverage, but is otherwise an independent, non-profit organization. The Department will be working closely with Connect for Health Colorado to update references to Medicaid on its website and printed collateral with the new name.
Will contractors, partners and other stakeholders using the Medicaid name need to update their materials?
Yes. The Department will provide the new logo and usage guidelines to all internal and external stakeholders, contractors, partners and other organizations that request these materials to update member and provider facing communications. The Department understands that updating materials can take time and incur cost, and therefore is providing early notification of this change so that materials can be updated as close to the June 2016 launch timeframe as possible.
When will the new name and look be introduced?
The new name and look were officially launched in June 2016.
How will the Department let members, providers and stakeholders know about the new name?
All member notifications will be updated to replace the name “Medicaid” with the new name, Health First Colorado. To reduce confusion, the tagline, “Colorado’s Medicaid Program” will be used with the new name and logo for an indefinite period following the launch.
Department-led meetings with stakeholder groups and contractors began in April 2015 to provide early notification about the change and support for stakeholders in updating communication materials.
The Department will conduct a statewide messaging campaign in partnership with program contractors, community based organizations and other partners, to communicate the change. Information about the new name and look will be available on the Department’s website and social media sites. Pending grant funding, the Department will direct a statewide advertising campaign, including radio, billboard, bus and online advertising, to promote this change.
If you have more questions about the introduction of the Health First Colorado name, please contact Marc Williams at (303) 866-3144.