Community First Choice moving from a waiver service to Medicaid’s State Plan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2023
Department of Health Care Policy & Financing
Denver, CO - Today, Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera signed SB23-289 which allows the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) to expand services that help Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) members with disabilities to remain in their homes and communities, increase choice on how long-term care services are provided, while saving the state money. This bill will enable HCPF to create a program called Community First Choice, which was made available under the Affordable Care Act and allows states to expand select home and community based services, while also receiving an increased federal match rate. This higher federal match is projected to save the state $40 million each year.
“The implementation of Community First Choice in Colorado is an important step in fulfilling the commitment to Health First Colorado members with disabilities to implement policies that support them in achieving independence across all aspects of their lives and that close critical gaps in access to care,” said Bonnie Silva, Director for the Office of Community Living at HCPF. “This transformational legislation will undoubtedly support more members to receive services in their community instead of an institutional setting.”
Stakeholders and HCPF have been working towards Community First Choice since 2012. Community First Choice will give members more choice in how they receive their long-term care by expanding self-direction. Under Community First Choice, members may choose to have more control over their services by hiring and training the people that provide their care.
About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program), Child Health Plan Plus, and other programs for Coloradans who qualify. These health care programs now cover about one in four Coloradans. For more information about the Department, please visit hcpf.colorado.gov.