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The Department and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have created several documents that explain the Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid Program) eligibility and enrollment of criminal justice involved populations. The documents below include specific guidance to counties and providers regarding when Health First Colorado can pay for medical services for incarcerated populations and how and when they can be enrolled in Health First Colorado.
In addition to increased collaboration with the Department of Corrections, the Department is also working to strengthen Health First Colorado enrollment for the criminal justice involved population. Jails are overseen by the counties (incarceration does not exceed more than 365 days) and the prisons are overseen by the Department of Corrections (incarceration, at a minimum, exceeds 366 days). The Department currently engages the county jails in two manners: 1) An ongoing state-workgroup designed to provide the counties with a platform to discuss issues relating to Health First Colorado and the jail population, and 2) A toolkit for the counties to demonstrate the advantages of Health First Colorado enrollment for individuals prior to booking and those individuals leaving jail.
Intersection of Medicaid and Jails - Toolkit for Counties
This Health First Colorado enrollment toolkit is designed to explain:
The Health Information Office at the Department hosts a state workgroup titled: Medicaid and the Jail Involved Population
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services consider diversion clients, transition clients, and other populations residing in community corrections facilities to be “inmates of public institutions” and therefore ineligible for Medicaid (see Section 1905(a) of the Social Security Act). The State of Colorado believes these individuals should be eligible for Health First Colorado. While the State continues to urge the federal government to reconsider its decision, residents of Community Corrections remain ineligible. In contrast, individuals associated with Community Corrections facilities who do not reside in the facility may be eligible for Health First Colorado. The correspondence below details discussions between the Department, Colorado’s Congressional delegation, and federal agencies.
Correspondence between Governor Hickenlooper and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Correspondence between Attorney General Suthers and CMS
Correspondence between the Department and CMS
In 2009, the Department proposed a policy concerning funding of health care services for those in Community Corrections. The Department requested that stakeholders provide comments on the proposed policy.
In 2008, the Colorado state legislature passed SB 08-006, requiring the Department to suspend eligibility for any Health First Colorado member who becomes incarcerated. The Department is actively working to fully implement this law.
Other States and Stakeholders