Dec. 15, 2023

Public Health Emergency Planning header

Covid-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) Unwind 

Colorado has resumed regular eligibility reviews for people with Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) after a 2+ year pause during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). 

PHE Unwind Reporting

Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) released its sixth month of renewal information, for members whose coverage anniversary date was in October 2023. The unwinding data report for the October 2023 renewal period is live on the Continuous Coverage Unwind Data Reporting page

The information posted is point-in-time data about renewals as required by federal reporting requirements and does not include all the new members coming into the program or those who will take action during the 90-day reconsideration period. Members can resume coverage if they still qualify by returning their renewal packet and any missing information to their county for processing within 90 days of losing coverage. Based on pre-pandemic information, on average, about half of the members who had lost eligibility were deemed eligible for Medicaid again within two years.

Ex Parte Reinstatements

HCPF began doing ex parte at the individual level as of October 2023. This change applied to September and October renewals and every renewal month thereafter. Individual members who were eligible at ex parte, but disenrolled between May and August because their household did not properly complete and submit the required renewal paperwork, have been reinstated. 7,510 members have been reinstated and notified. Renewal packets will still be sent to households when it's their time to renew, but individuals within a household who are identified as eligible during ex parte will be approved instead of disenrolled even if the household fails to return their renewal packet by the deadline.

FAQs about ex parte reinstatements are in the PHE Unwind FAQs Ex Parte Category.

Extensions, Reconsideration Period and Appeals

60 Day Extension for Vulnerable Populations

In September, Colorado implemented a 60-calendar-day extension for vulnerable populations, including long-term care (LTC), members on waivered services, and buy-in recipients. This extension was implemented to prevent procedural terminations (for failure to return the renewal packet) and allow extra time for members to complete their renewals. The extension is in effect through the remainder of the unwind period, June 2024. It does not affect members who have already submitted their renewal packet to the county or those who have completed the renewal process.

90 Day Reconsideration Period for All Members

The reconsideration period is a 90-day period after a procedural termination has occurred. All members can take advantage of the reconsideration period by turning in an existing renewal packet or supporting documents within 90 days of their renewal date to see if they still qualify. If they qualify for Health First Colorado during that 90-day period, coverage begins as of the 1st of the month they are determined eligible again. If there is a gap in coverage, members must ask the county to be enrolled retroactively or they can request retroactive coverage in PEAK once they are approved and their new eligibility date is known.

60 Day Appeal Window for All Members

When an eligibility decision is made, individuals have 60 calendar days from the date on the notice of action to appeal their eligibility decision (the exact deadline date is printed on the notice). Coverage will be automatically continued during the appeal for individuals who appeal timely. Individuals are always allowed to appeal any action taken on an eligibility decision. They can ask for a State Level Hearing (Formal), Dispute Resolution Conference (Informal), or both simultaneously. Information about the appeals process and how to appeal is part of the member letter known as a "notice of action."

To summarize the differences: an extension allows extra time for members to complete complex renewals and may prevent a procedural denial, whereas the 90-day reconsideration period allows members who were procedurally denied to submit their renewal packets late and perhaps reinstate their coverage. Once the renewal packet is received and processed by the county, an eligibility decision is made. The appeals process is available for members who disagree with their eligibility determination.

Renewal Packets

Renewal packets are shorter! We heard that renewal packets were too long, had too many blanks, and the envelopes made them look like junk mail. The following system updates have been implemented and were reflected in renewal packets sent mid-October to members with a December 2023 renewal date.

  • Members will only see information for members of their household with Health First Colorado or CHP+ coverage, so there are no extra blank spaces and fewer pages. 
  • Fewer pages for members to fill out with their financial information.
  • If they need to add more information, there’s a blank page at the end of the packet. 
  • Additional emphasis to sign the renewal packet.
  • A color Colorado state seal has been added to the renewal packet envelope window to help prevent it from being mistaken for junk mail.

How can you help support members during the PHE unwind?

HCPF has developed extensive partner toolkits regarding the end of the continuous coverage requirement. Update Your Address, Understanding the Renewal Process and Take Action on Your Renewal toolkits all include resources to help members take action to keep their coverage. A new joint webpage includes partner resources and information for those who may need to transition to other health coverage.

The following toolkits have been transcreated into the top 11 languages spoken by members: Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Dari, Pashto, Russian, Somali, Swahili, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese


You can help us raise member awareness about the renewal process by sharing the messaging in our toolkits.


Materials in these toolkits identify key actions for members to take: updating contact information, taking action when a renewal is due, and seeking help with renewals at community or county resources when they need it. Flyers, social media messaging and graphics, website content, and other outreach tools are in the PHE Resource Center

Partners can educate themselves and their staff on the basics of the renewal process to assist members who may need help. See our Renewal Education toolkit. New Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the end of the continuous coverage requirement and return to regular renewal processes have recently been added. 

Members with questions about the renewal process can learn more by visiting Health First Colorado’s renewal webpage available in English and Spanish.  

Thank you for your partnership and continued collaboration!

Scammer Alert

Scammers are targeting Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) members through text messages and phone calls. They are telling members they must pay to keep or renew their health coverage. HCPF never asks members or applicants for money, bank account or credit card information, complete social security numbers, or any other financial information through text or over the phone. HCPF will contact members to ask them to update their address and contact information. Members can do this at any time online through PEAK and are not required to give this information over the phone. Please help us alert members of potential scams by sharing this important message. And report any suspected scam activity to the Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit.

PHE Unwind Partner Webinar

HCPF hosted an informational session about the end of the Continuous Coverage Requirement and the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Unwind on Oct. 25, 2023. Thank you to those who were able to join. That presentation and recording are posted in the PHE Resource Center.

The next quarterly webinar will be held on Jan. 24, 2024, from 1 - 2 p.m. Mountain Time. Register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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