Policy

Legislation

All Kids Covered supports legislation that will improve children’s coverage and access to care in Colorado. We have played an instrumental role in passing several key bills and budget items, and we have become a recognized expert in children’s health policy.  AKC’s 2016 policy priorities are outlined in this document, which guide our collective policy work throughout 2016, including work in the legislative session as well as with the administrative agencies. Each year, the AKC Coalition and/or the leadership team will be engaged in decision-making for legislation or budget items that affect children and families and align with AKC‘s priorities, according to our decision-making protocol. Below are descriptions of the legislation All Kids Covered has been involved with, the outcomes of our efforts, and where Colorado is in implementing each signed bill.

Policy Victories

2016
Title Status
Primary Care Provider Rates  In consideration
Budget line item & legislation
  • We signed on to participate in a broad coalition of partners who working to maintain the current payment levels for primary care providers, some of whom care for children and families in the state. The Affordable Care Act gave us an opportunity in 2013 to temporarily achieve parity between Medicaid primary care payments and those of Medicare, and in 2014, state lawmakers dedicated state dollars to maintain those payment rates. Governor Hickenlooper had proposed scaling back these payments in 2016 in an effort to balance the state budget. As these payments directly affect access to care for children and families on Medicaid, we signed on to the coalition in opposition to this proposal.
  • HB16-1408, a companion bill to the 2016 Long Bill, would transfer $20 million from the Children’s Basic Health Plan Trust to pay for increasing access to primary care through rate enhancements for primary care services in the Medicaid program. Services that will receive funding through this provision include preventive services, office visits, immunization administration, and counseling and health risk assessments, which includes screening for post-partum and adolescent depression. This portion of the bill would partially offset the impact of reductions in Medicaid primary care provider rates for the next fiscal year, and would also encourage access to high-value primary care services for Medicaid clients.
2015
Title Status
 Budget line item Change Medicaid and CHP+ Eligibility Determination Process to Utilize Projected Annual Income of Enrollees Passed
  • Along with our partners, we successfully advocated for Medicaid and CHP+ to utilize projected annual income of enrollees to determine eligibility, instead of monthly income. Many in Medicaid would experience fluctuations in income throughout the year, which would affect their enrollment in Medicaid and often result in them dis-enrolling and re-enrolling throughout the course of the year.
2014
Title Status
Budget line item Funding for Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to Implement HB 09-1353 Passed & Signed
  • We secured funding for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to implement HB 09-1353, which would allow legally present immigrant pregnant women and children to be covered by Medicaid. Previously, all immigrants had to wait until they were legally present in the country for five years, and now, Colorado is able to these two groups without requiring the five year wait period. Covering Kids and Families developed this fact sheet to notify clients of potential eligibility based on this change.
2013
Bill # Title Status
SB 8 Maximizing Coverage for Colorado Kids Passed & Signed
HB 1053 Consistent Requirements for Pediatric Dental Benefits Passed & Signed
  • Authorizes the Division of Insurance to re-align the rules around the required purchase of pediatric dental benefits between Connect for Health Colorado with the non-exchange marketplace.
  • The rules have been finalized and the 2015 plan year will reflect this alignment.
HB 1288 Student Immunizations Prior to School Attendance Passed & Signed
  • Requires the Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) to create rules around publicizing immunization information from scientific studies and an online module to raise awareness of immunization benefits for public consumption.
  • Requires schools and daycares to make available their immunization rates of the student population upon request.
2012
Bill # Title Status
SB 108 Oral Health Benefits for Pregnant Women on Medicaid Laid Over
  • If passed, this bill would have provided dental benefits for pregnant women on Medicaid to improve the health of their babies, especially after birth.
  • Bill was laid over as a result of the activity in the last 2 days of the legislative session, despite bipartisan support and strong collaborative work by the oral health community.
2011
Bill # Title Status
SB 8 Aligning Children’s Medicaid Eligibility Passed & Signed
  • Allows for the alignment of CHP+ and Medicaid eligibility, regardless of a child’s age. This would establish Medicaid eligibility for all children under the age of 18 to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level.
SB 128 Child-Only Health Insurance Plans Passed & Signed
  • Requires health insurance companies that choose to participate in the individual health insurance market to offer child-only insurance products through two open enrollment periods per year, where child-only products must be sold on a guaranteed-issue basis, meaning children cannot be denied coverage based on medical history or current health status.
  • The first 30-day open enrollment period occurred in August 2011.
SB 200 Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Passed & Signed
  • Establishes the governance structure and implementation process for the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange, a new health insurance marketplace that will begin operation on January 1, 2014.
  • The board and legislative committee were appointed on July 1, 2011, and the two groups began meeting shortly thereafter.
SB 213 CHP+ Assess Monthly Enrollment Fee Passed & Vetoed
  • Would have increased premiums for some children enrolled in CHP+ from $25 annually to $20 per month.
  • Because of the projected loss of health care coverage for thousands of Colorado children, All Kids Covered adamantly opposed this bill, which passed the House and Senate, but was ultimately vetoed by Governor Hickenlooper.
HB 1019 Exempt School-Based Clinics Copay Passed & Signed
  • Allows school-based health clinics to waive patients’ co-payments and still bill private insurance for the visit. Previously, a clinic could not bill private insurance for the visit if the co-payment or deductible were waived.
HB 1281 Health Care Professional Loan Forgiveness Passed & Signed
  • Dedicates some state dollars to the Colorado Health Service Corps, the state’s health care professional student loan repayment program. This would allow for more effective administration of the program with incoming federal dollars.
  • Provides loan repayment for certain eligible nursing faculty or health care professional faculty members.
  • These provisions became effective June 2011, and will help alleviate the provider shortage.
2010
Bill # Title Status
SB 6 Identification Documents Reduce Poverty Passed & Signed
  • Allows individuals to obtain a birth certificate or death record for free if referred from a county department of social services or human services.
HB 1021 Required Coverage for Maternity Care Passed & Signed
  • Requires, among other things, that all newly-issued or renewed insurance policies in the individual market provide coverage for maternity care starting January 1, 2011.
HB 1033 Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment Passed & Signed
  • Adds to the list of optional services provided to Medicaid recipients, screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for alcohol and other substance abuse services.
  • Became effective August 2010.
2009
Bill # Title Status
HB 1020 Medical Program Re-enrollment Passed & Signed
  • Establishes a process for telephone and online re-enrollment into Medicaid and CHP+.
  • Ensures that eligible children continue to receive quality care.
HB 1293 Health Coverage for Kids Passed & Signed
  • Ensures uninterrupted access to services for kids by providing 12 months of continuous eligibility for children enrolled in Medicaid.
  • Provides more families with access to public health coverage by increasing eligibility for children in CHP+ from 205% to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level and increasing eligibility for parents in Medicaid from 60% to 100% of the Federal Poverty Level.
HB 1353 Coverage for Moms and Kids
  • Provides benefits under Medicaid and CHP+ to pregnant women and children who are legal immigrants.
  • Waives the 5-year waiting period for such services.
2008
Bill # Title Status
SB 161 Child Enrollment for Health Programs
  • Reduces barriers to enrollment in Medicaid and CHP+ by eliminating the requirements for families to submit paycheck stubs; instead allows the State to verify a family’s income using data that is already available. Interfaces with other systems holding relevant data were implemented August 2011.
  • Allows for easy re-enrollment of children at the end of their eligibility period, thus avoiding interruption in coverage.
2007
Bill # Title Status
SB 130 Medical Home for Colorado Children Passed & Signed
  • Declares that a “medical home” is important for children. A medical home is a concept, rather than physical location that ensures a child has coordinated and comprehensive access to medical care, mental health care and oral health care.
  • Directs the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to implement standards and systems to increase the number of children in Medicaid and CHP+ programs with a medical home.
SB 211 Continuity of Care for Colorado Kids Passed & Signed
  • Establishes presumptive eligibility for children applying for Medicaid or CHP+ (allows coverage of children while they are completing the application).
  • Requires an annual report on quality, access, and health outcomes.
  • Allows for continuous enrollment for CHP+ kids moving to Medicaid.
  • Decreases barriers for enrollment in public programs by clarifying the identity documentation required for pregnant women and 18-19 year olds applying for CHP+.