COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Planning

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Public Health Emergency Planning

Background

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 also applies to kids and pregnant people covered by Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).

Even though Health First Colorado and CHP+ members will not lose coverage during the PHE, they still receive regular renewal letters each year in the mail and their PEAK inbox. 

It will be critical for members to complete renewals when the PHE ends.

Planning for the end of the COVID-19 PHE

When the PHE ends, Health First Colorado and CHP+ will return to normal renewal processes.

  • The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) will take 12 months (14 months including noticing) to complete renewals for each of the approximately 1.6 million people currently enrolled.
  • It’s essential that members respond to renewal letters to make sure they keep their Health First Colorado and CHP+ coverage if they are still eligible.

How you can help

We need your partnership to ensure eligible members can keep their health coverage and those who no longer qualify know where they can go for affordable coverage resources.

Use and share the materials in our toolkits to:

  1. Ask members to update their contact information so we can reach them.
  2. Educate yourselves on the renewal process so you can effectively help members.
  3. Inform members when they need to take action to keep coverage.

We value your partnership and encourage you to share feedback on best practices, new tools and meaningful metrics with us at hcpf_comms@state.co.us.

Toolkits:

Phase 1: Preparing for renewals

Public Health Emergency Status:
Extended

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra formally extended the PHE on Oct. 13, 2022.

The PHE can be extended for up to 90 days at a time. HHS has reconfirmed that they will provide 60 days advance notice before any end to the PHE. Since no 60-day notice was given by Nov. 12, 2022 that the PHE will end, it is expected to be extended again on Jan. 11, 2023, most likely for another 90 days through April 11, 2023. If the COVID-19 PHE will end on April 11, we expect to receive 60 days advance notice by Feb. 10, 2023.

Stay Up-to-date on the COVID-19 PHE

Monthly Newsletter

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Community Partner Webinars

Upcoming Webinars

Previous Webinars

Planning for the end of the PHE: Community Partners and Advocates - Nov.17, 2022

Planning for the end of the PHE: Continuous Coverage Requirements - April 15, 2022

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Key Message: Update your contact information and communication preferences in PEAK or with your county so we can reach you with important coverage updates.

Target Audience: Members

Key Message: Learn about the renewal process from administrative and member perspectives.

Target Audience: Trusted partners

Key Message: Frequently Asked Questions about the PHE unwind process

Target Audience: Trusted partners

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