June 28, 2022
County Connections
This Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (the Department) newsletter is designed to inform county directors, management and staff about high-impact updates, important changes, county performance, new guidance, and program changes.
High-Impact Updates
Message from the Executive Director
Historic Legislative Session for Health Policy 
Thank you for your partnership in a historic legislative session for health policy. Together, we are making transformative investments in behavioral health, workforce, pandemic management, affordability and coverage. While the Department is tracking and implementing more than 50 bills passed this session, here are some of the highlights: 
Behavioral Health. Twenty bills touched behavioral health and substance use, many memorializing Behavioral Health Transformational Task Force recommendations including the investment of $450 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. HB 22-1278 creates the Behavioral Health Administration, a landmark achievement that will help coordinate the efforts across state agencies to transform the behavioral health system, achieve shared goals and pursue a shared vision that puts Coloradans first.  
Supporting Workforce, Older Adults & Pandemic Management. Several bills will help Colorado move from pandemic responsiveness to endemic management and pandemic readiness. They include measures focused on vaccinating, testing and treating through hospital system owned primary care providers as well as hospital staffing improvements (HB 22-1401); targeted funding to support nursing homes (HB 22-1247); and higher base wages for nursing home workers (HB 22-1333) as well as home and community-based direct care workers (HB22-1188). Also, the Department is thrilled at the passage of SB 22-203, which creates a more efficient, effective and transparent oversight structure for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) - an all-inclusive benefit for older adults who need long-term services and supports. 
Affordability. As stated by Gov. Polis, this was a landmark legislative session for saving people money on health care. HB 22-1285 increases hospital price transparency, predicted to drive down outlier prices impacting communities. Additionally, HB 22-1370 will pass along drug manufacturer rebates to employers and consumers – valued at more than 16% of overall drug costs for those not sharing in rebates now. This bill represented one of the policy recommendations in the Department’s 2021 Reducing Prescription Drug Costs in Colorado Report. Also, SB 22-200 provides funding for rural hospitals to invest in affordability solutions that help reduce rural hospital and clinic prices. Finally, the long bill supported the Department’s expansion of value-based payment models, designed to improve quality, reduce disparities and drive affordability across primary care, maternity care, prescription drugs and specialty care. 
Coverage. Significant progress was made on expanding health coverage. Thanks to HB 22-1289, more children and pregnant people will be eligible for health coverage through a new program the Department will administer to reduce the uninsured rate. This bill also enables HCPF to move eligible individuals from Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) to Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) at the end of the public health emergency without member action by eliminating the annual CHP+ enrollment fee. SB 22-081 also passed, supporting coverage transitions and improving awareness of financial assistance that makes coverage more affordable to help keep Coloradans covered. 
Thank you for your collaboration on advancing such important policies. We appreciate the hard work, passion and expertise of our elected officials, advocates, providers and stakeholders. For more information, please visit our Legislator Resource Center
Register now for HCPF Annual Stakeholder Webinar
Please register to join Health Care Policy & Financing leaders for a virtual webinar on July 19 from 9-11 a.m. This event will share what we accomplished together last year, address priorities for next fiscal year, and invite stakeholder feedback and comments
Recent Memo Series Issued to Counties
All Memos and their attachments are on the Memo Series website.
Policy Memos
PM 22-007
The public health emergency (PHE) end date has once again been extended from April 16, 2022, to July 15, 2022. To answer questions we have received on this topic, this policy memo will clarify guidance and rules related to eligibility for COVID-19 only Medicaid eligibility category for uninsured individuals.

PM 22-006
The purpose of this memo is to provide county departments of social/human services, Medical Assistance (MA) sites, and Eligibility Application Partner (EAP) sites with general information about Emergency Medicaid provided through Health First Colorado. Additionally, this memo outlines the eligibility criteria for Emergency Medicaid, how people can submit their applications, as well as a brief explanation of covered emergency services. This guidance is intended for all teams who are working in-person, online or over the phone. Please share this memo with anyone who works with Health First Colorado applicants and members.

PM 22-005
The purpose of this Policy Memo is to inform eligibility sites of the Reproductive Health Care services adopted through Senate Bill 21-009. This memo includes guidance for all Medical Assistance eligibility categories. Please share this memo with all eligibility staff, supervisors, and outside agencies, as appropriate.

PM 22-004
This memo provides policy guidance for authorized individuals/entities, such as county departments of social/human services, Medical Assistance (MA) sites, Eligibility Application Partner (EAP) sites, and anyone who processes Medical Assistance eligibility applications about the new Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) Limited Family Planning Services Medical Assistance program as required by Senate Bill 21-025.

PM 22-003
The purpose of this Policy Memo is to inform eligibility sites of the 12 months postpartum expansion eligibility rules for the Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) programs. This memo includes guidance for all Medical Assistance eligibility categories. Please share this memo with all eligibility staff, supervisors, and outside agencies, as appropriate.
Operational Memos
Informational Memos
IM 22-015
The purpose of this Memo is to inform county departments of human/social services of grant funding available through the FY 2022-23 County Grant Program.
Informational Updates
Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) Enrollment Fee Discontinued
In an effort to remove barriers for families seeking health coverage, the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) and the Colorado General Assembly championed a health care bill that also included an amendment to eliminate the CHP+ enrollment fee at intake and renewal.
Effective July 1, 2022, the enrollment fee will no longer be required at intake for the CHP+ program. The CBMS project build date for this system change is June 11, 2022.  
Please be advised, the requirement to collect an annual enrollment fee for CHP+ at renewal is currently suspended due to the Public Health Emergency (PHE) and will be permanently discontinued at the end of the PHE.
Questions regarding this communication may be directed to the Eligibility Inbox 
eConsult Platform Update
The Department is implementing a statewide Medicaid electronic consultation platform called the eConsult Platform. This platform will promote the Department's mission to improve health care equity, access and outcomes for the people we serve.

The eConsult platform will enable communications between Primary Care Medical Providers (PCMPs) and specialists. The PCMP will be able to transmit clinical questions and medical information to a specialist, so the specialist can review the case without an in-person office visit with the member. The specialist and PCMP work together in the diagnosis and/or management of the member’s health care needs, or facilitate office visits with the specialist when clinically appropriate. 

The Department expects to have an eConsult Vendor selected by this fall/winter. 

Anticipated Timeline 
  • Mid-Spring/Summer 2022 - Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) Posted and Vendor Selection
  • Fall/Winter 2022 - Contract Negotiations
  • Winter 2023 – Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Review of Contract
  • Spring /Summer 2023 - Implementation Activities
  • Summer /Fall 2023 - eConsult Platform Go Live 

The timeline is subject to change without prior notice and is only provided as a reference.

For more information, visit the eConsult Platform webpage or email questions to The eConsult Inbox.
County Relations Team Introduces
Customer Relationship Management System
Do you need help? Do you have a question? Does a case need to be escalated? There are two ways you can contact the HCPF County Relations team.
  1. County Relations Web Form—try this method first. It allows you to enter details to help us resolve your issues.
  2. County Relations Email—You can still contact us by email at hcpf_countyrelations@state.co.us. Your email to us will automatically create a service ticket with your email included. We cannot open encrypted messages within our ticketing system.
HCPF - PARIS Interface Verification Check List (VCL) Project

The goal of the project is to verify residency of members identified in the Medical Assistance PARIS Interstate Match report prior to the Public Health Emergency (PHE) ending, to determine:

  • If these individuals are or are no longer Colorado residents
  • To terminate coverage appropriately if they are no longer a Colorado resident

This activity will decrease the number of cases required to go through the renewal process when the PHE ends. It will also reduce expenditures being erroneously paid for non-residents. 

Details: This project includes updates to the PARIS cases in the Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS) to help determine residency prior to the PHE ending and help CBMS users take action as necessary. 

This project includes the following actions:  

  • The Residency screen in CBMS will be updated to reflect Verification as “questionable” and Source will be disabled.

  • A Verification Check List (VCL) will be triggered for any active members on medical assistance (including combo cases) who need to confirm their Colorado residency.

  • A system generated comment (State subtype) will be posted to CBMS that reads: Residency verification triggered due to PARIS match and PHE unwind process.

  • The User ID for CBMS transactions will show up as “CPPM5865.”

  • There are approximately 40,000 total PARIS cases identified to go through this process. These cases will be divided up amongst four batches with the identified phases below.

The VCLs from the PARIS Match Report will be generated in four phases as identified below: 

  • Phase One - April 28, 2022
  • Phase Two - May 25, 2022
  • Phase Three - June 22, 2022
  • Phase Four - July 20, 2022
Members who receive the VCL will have an opportunity to respond via PEAK or through their eligibility site. During this timeframe, eligibility sites may see an increase in verification submissions. Eligibility sites will need to work these VCLs following standard guidelines.

  • Member statement will still be an acceptable source for verifying residency.
  • When updating CBMS for a member that is no longer a resident, the user should ensure the Effective Begin Date is set to the 1st of the following month after they confirmed residency.

If the VCL cannot be delivered, it will be sent to the Consolidated Return Mail Center (CRMC) to perform outreach and verify residency. If the CRMC is able to locate the member, the appropriate data entry will be entered in CBMS and the case will either: continue to pass if the individual is determined to be a “Colorado resident” or fail for “Not a Colorado resident.” If a member is no longer a Colorado resident, coverage will be terminated. If the CRMC is unable to locate the member, they will change “whereabouts unknown” in CBMS to “Yes.” These will remain in the locked-in report until the end of the PHE.

PARIS processes that are remaining the same:

  • Working PARIS match is still a requirement. There have not been changes to the PARIS match process where out of state residency has been verified; the only limitations during the PHE are for cases where residency hasn't been verified. Additional guidance regarding processing PARIS matches is in the CBMS Community, in the document named “PARIS Users Guide for CBMS.”

  • Contacting the other state to verify closure of benefits continues to be acceptable verification and must clear the prior assistance entry in CBMS. Continue to enter the verification source as collateral contact as the verification source for both residency and prior assistance verification requirements.

  • If counties are receiving repeat matches for an individual, those should serve as reminders to that individual that they need to contact the other state and discontinue benefits in the other state. If closure verification has already been verified by the county worker, no extra work is required to re-verify closure if the enrollment dates have not changed.

Please Note:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants remain eligible for SNAP through the end of their certification, regardless if their residency changes to out of state.

  • The system is functioning correctly with regard to Food Assistance uses - and these do not/should not need altering.

  • Colorado Works (CW) and Adult Financial (AF) members should remain eligible, even if residency is updated to questionable. CW and AF use months will continue to function as they did prior to this project. If it is determined that a member is no longer a Colorado resident, please act on the CW and AF benefits accordingly. 
For more information, contact The Medicaid Eligibility Inbox
Update to Renewal Revamp Workbook- Transitional Medical Assistance
The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) is releasing this communication to notify Eligibility Sites that the Renewal Revamp Workbook has been updated to add information on Transitional Medical Assistance (MA) Policy.

Members receiving Transitional Medical Assistance must receive 12 full months of coverage, even if other members within the household have a different renewal due date.

A member on Transitional Medical Assistance will go through the Ex-Parte process, which
starts three months prior to the renewal due date.

Please view the changes on page 9 in the Renewal Revamp Workbook.

If you have any questions regarding this communication may be directed to
Update Your Address Messaging Toolkit
The purpose of this toolkit is to provide our community partners, stakeholders, and advocates with messaging and resources to encourage Health First Colorado and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) members to update their contact information. This toolkit is particularly important to prepare members for upcoming updates to the renewal process for Health First Colorado.

This toolkit was a collaborative effort among the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing and advocates, with review and input from Health First Colorado and CHP+ members. Partners using this toolkit may modify the language to fit their specific communication vehicles; however, the messaging in these resources should remain the same to ensure consistency.

Please note that highlighted text indicates areas where partner organizations should insert their organization’s name and information if they provide enrollment assistance. Contact information for a partner organization that could help with enrollment can also be inserted. Please delete these lines if they do not apply to your organization.
English and Spanish versions of all messaging and graphics are available.

Thank you for helping us spread the word!
Medicaid Buy-In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities: Allowing individuals Ages 65 and Older to continue or enroll for benefits
As of July 1, 2022, CBMS will be updated to allow no maximum age limit for Buy-In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities (WAwD).

Individuals must still meet all eligibility qualifications for the program. Working individuals must have a disability determination through Social Security or the state disability determination vendor ARG. Individuals who are 65 and older who do not have a disability determination must submit a disability application to ARG.

To see more information, please view the resources below.


Affordable Connectivity Program Lowers Cost of Broadband Services for Eligible Households

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to help build awareness about the Affordable Connectivity Program, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program. The new long-term benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households struggling to afford internet service.
The Affordable Connectivity Program provides:

  • Up to $30/month discount for broadband service;
  • Up to $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands; and
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider if the household contributes more than $10 but less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Who is Eligible?

A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria outlined.

Two Steps to Enroll:

  1. Go to ACPBenefit.org to submit an application or print out a mail-in application; and
  2. Contact your preferred participating provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill.

Some providers may have an alternative application that they will ask you to complete.
Eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan. 

For more information and full details, visit https://www.fcc.gov/acp or call 877-384-2575. Check out the Consumer Outreach Toolkit at Affordableconnectivity.gov.

Read more about the ACP in the recent White House Fact Sheet: Whitehouse.gov
County Grants & County Incentives Program
County Incentives and Grants
County Incentives Programs 
The recording and slide deck for the County Incentives Support Call on June 21, 2022 are posted on the County Administration webpage

Join us for the County Directors Monthly Support Call on July 19, 2022. While this call is not focused exclusively on the Incentives Program, Accuracy Performance Incentive targets for FY 2022-23 is on the agenda for this call. 
County Grants: Competitive 
FY 2021-22 County Grants Year End Report Out Project Summaries, meeting recording and county presentations are available on County Administration webpage. 

FY 2021-22 Grant Close Out Reminders: All expenditures associated with the approved grant proposal must occur on or before June 30, 2022; expenditures should be entered in CFMS no later than July 8, 2022. Expenses submitted after this date will not be reimbursed. All Final Project Deliverables must be submitted to the Department no later than close of business July 15, 2022. Please refer to your application’s Conditions of Funding and executed IGGA for close out. 
County Grants: Targeted Grants 
PHE Retention Funding: All expenditures associated with the approved targeted grant must occur on or before June 30, 2022. If your county was funded, please refer to your Notice of Determination for additional information and CFMS code for eligible expenditures. 
County Performance
Timeliness for all Medical Assistance applications was measured at 97.74%.
Timeliness for all Medical Assistance redeterminations was measured at 99.03%.
Supplemental Information
Department Contacts & Resources