Nov 6, 2019

Recent articles

CCLP files comment on overtime protections for farmworkers in Colorado

The following comment was submitted on November 1 to Michael Primo, Director of Operations for the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics, regarding rulemaking pursuant to SB21-081: Agricultural Rights and Responsibilities and COMPS Order #38. Read our new issue...

CCLP statement of opposition on Denver Ballot Measure 2F

Denver voters will be asked to weigh in on several ballot measures during the upcoming election on November 2, 2021. Among them will be ballot measure 2F, also known as “Safe and Sound Denver.” Despite its laudable name, Colorado Center on Law and Policy urges Denver...

Five takeaways for work after COVID-19

Supported by a generous grant from the ECMC Foundation, Colorado Center on Law and Policy set out to track how the experiences of unemployed Coloradans have changed since February 2020. By analyzing economic and labor force data, as well as conducting interviews with...

NEWS ALERT: Analysis examines decline in Medicaid, CHP+ enrollment

Over 1.2 million Coloradans rely on Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) for comprehensive health services that foster child development, help adults maintain employment, deliver needed mental health and substance use treatments and keep people with disabilities in their communities.

Unfortunately, Colorado saw an 8 percent decline in Medicaid and CHP+ enrollment between March 2017 and March 2019, as national enrollment fell by more than 2.3 percent or 1.7 million participants. Falling unemployment does not explain the extent of the drop, and policy changes spurred by federal pressure are a more likely explanation.

A new analysis from Colorado Center on Law and Policy examines data on economic changes, as well as other factors contributing to the state’s enrollment decline. Among the findings:

Since 2017, federal policy changes on Medicaid determinations increased reporting and documentation burdens on enrollees, and on state agencies and county workers as well. When paperwork requirements increase, some will lose coverage despite meeting income and other requirements, especially those who have unstable housing or serious health conditions or disabilities.

Several states, including Colorado, have introduced policies that make it harder to stay enrolled. Since the peak enrollment in 2017, the state has begun requiring a response from more individuals at re-enrollment and terminating coverage when state mailings are returned to sender. The problem was documented in a recent report by Kaiser Health News.

Half of individuals with income below 200 percent FPL move in or out of Medicaid eligibility during the course of a year. Even though the state has aimed to improve retention by adopting policies that help Coloradans with fluctuating incomes enrolled — such as continuous enrollment for children and a mechanism to spread seasonal or commission income – more investigation is needed to determine whether systems are functioning as intended.

Even though proposed federal rule changes affecting immigrant Coloradans haven’t yet gone into effect, state and national partners report that eligible individuals are avoiding programs like Medicaid because they fear consequences to themselves or household members, related to their immigration status. Colorado agencies and county workers need to make it clear that immigrants are welcome to apply for these benefits, and that the state supports its residents in using available programs in their journey toward financial security.

“This analysis suggests that many former enrollees may have lost coverage despite their income-eligibility — a development that could have a long-lasting negative effect on public health and Colorado’s economy,” said Bethany Pray, Esq., Director of CCLP’s Health Program.

Developed by Pray, CCLP Health Attorney Allison Neswood, Esq. and CCLP Research and Policy Analyst Charlie Brennan, the 14-page analysis is available on CCLP’s website.

For more information, contact Bob Mook, CCLP’s Director of Communications at [email protected] or at 303-573-5669, ext. 311.

Founded in 1998, Colorado Center on Law and Policy is a nonprofit research, legislative and legal advocacy organization committed to promoting racial equity and economic security for Coloradans facing poverty. Learn more at cclponline.org.

Recent articles

CCLP files comment on overtime protections for farmworkers in Colorado

The following comment was submitted on November 1 to Michael Primo, Director of Operations for the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics, regarding rulemaking pursuant to SB21-081: Agricultural Rights and Responsibilities and COMPS Order #38. Read our new issue...

CCLP statement of opposition on Denver Ballot Measure 2F

Denver voters will be asked to weigh in on several ballot measures during the upcoming election on November 2, 2021. Among them will be ballot measure 2F, also known as “Safe and Sound Denver.” Despite its laudable name, Colorado Center on Law and Policy urges Denver...

Five takeaways for work after COVID-19

Supported by a generous grant from the ECMC Foundation, Colorado Center on Law and Policy set out to track how the experiences of unemployed Coloradans have changed since February 2020. By analyzing economic and labor force data, as well as conducting interviews with...