Public Health Emergency ending resulting in end to continuous coverage.
In January 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared a public health emergency (PHE) in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Congress passed legislation that ensured anyone enrolled in Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) was guaranteed to keep their health coverage during the PHE. This is known as the “continuous coverage requirement” and also applies to kids and pregnant people covered by Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). Congress recently passed a bill that ends the continuous coverage requirement in spring 2023. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has formally extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). The PHE can be extended for up to 90 days at a time and is expected to end on May 11, 2023. The Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, issued a Statement of Administration Policy on Jan. 30, 2023, that the Administration plans to extend the PHE to May 11.
What this means:
During the Public Health Emergency, Medicaid (managed by the county of residence) continued to send out redetermination packets and request for financial verifications. However, no one’s Medicaid coverage ended due to lack of redetermination submitted or verifications because of the ‘continuous coverage’ legislation. You likely continued to submit your packets as normal.
Beginning May 12th, the redeterminations that are sent out and requests for verifications that are sent out MUST be responded to within the time frame given, or eligibility will be affected.
Suggestions from Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF) on how to plan for the ending of PHE:
- Health First Colorado and CHP+ will return to normal eligibility renewal processes with renewals due in May and notice will be sent starting March 2023.
- The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) will take 12 months (14 months including noticing) to complete renewals for each of the approximately 1.7 million people currently enrolled.
- Members should:
- Update their contact information to ensure you receive your packet and you can be reached.
- Respond to and sign renewal paperwork to make sure you keep your Health First Colorado and CHP+ coverage if they are still eligible.
- Members can find out their renewal dates and access more information by going to the Health First Colorado Website.
Creating a Peak account is an easy way to update member information (including address and contact information), access case information such as contact information on file, renewal dates, an online mailbox where all case communication is available (including redeterminations, requested verifications, and eligibility determinations), and coverage. Peak will also have a notice on the account home page if a redetermination is due or if documentation is needed. Use this link to access the PEAK Website.