You may have heard discussion in the news recently about the end of the Public Health Emergency. In 2020, the US Department of Health and Human Services declared an official public health emergency – or PHE – for the entire country in response to COVID-19. As part of the PHE declaration, anyone enrolled in Colorado Medicaid was guaranteed to keep their health coverage while our country remained officially under the PHE. Because of a legislative package passed by our federal Congress at the end of 2022, we now know that the official PHE will begin to unwind this coming April.
What does this mean for me?
Part of the PHE forbade the State from kicking anyone off Medicaid while the PHE is active. As the PHE is lifted this spring, this means that if you are currently on Medicaid, the State will begin conducting redeterminations for eligibility. Don’t panic, we’ve got the info you need to know and the steps you need to take!
Five Things to Know:
- Medicaid (also called Health First Colorado) will conduct redeterminations for everyone currently on Medicaid. Your redetermination will follow your pre-pandemic schedule, which means that if your redetermination normally happens in July, it will happen in July of this year, for example.
- Medicaid was not allowed to move anyone from one category of Medicaid coverage to another during the PHE. This means it is possible that you are currently enrolled in one category of Medicaid, and you may be moved to a different category after your redetermination. For example, during the PHE, many people were put on regular Medicaid, but due to their income, some of these people may actually belong on Medicaid Buy-In and will be moved into that category based on the redetermination process in the coming year.
- You may need to undergo a determination specifically for disability as part of your overall redetermination process. If this is the case for you, you need to be sure to fill out the determination paperwork you receive.
- If you receive a notice of ineligibility, you should file an appeal immediately. We have a video to help you through that process! You can find that video here.
- CCDC is here to help. Our Individual Advocacy Team can assist with complex and difficult cases. You can fill out our Help Form here to have an advocate contact you. Please remember that we are not able to handle emergency situations and that it may take a few days for an advocate to get back to you.
Three Things to Do:
- Don’t panic!
- OPEN AND KEEP ALL PAPER MAIL FROM MEDICAID AND ALL NOTICES FROM THE COLORADO PEAK WEBSITE! Keep not only all copies of your paper notices, but also the envelopes the notices came in – if you need to file an appeal, you will need proof of mailing postmarks. If you have trouble reading or understanding the notices you’re receiving from Medicaid, ask someone in your life who you trust to help you read and understand the information you’re being sent.
- File an appeal if you get a notice that your benefits are ending.