Continued Focus on Childrens’ Coverage Needed as Health Reform Rolls Out in Colorado

New Report Details State’s Successes in Kids Health Coverage, Identifies Seven Priorities for Future

Contact: Tara Manthey
Title: Communications Director
Phone: (303) 620-4544
Email: tara@coloradokids.org

Continued Focus on Childrens’ Coverage Needed as Health Reform Rolls Out in Colorado

New Report Details State’s Successes in Kids Health Coverage, Identifies Seven Priorities for Future

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 13th, 2013

Denver, CO – Today a coalition of child health advocates urged Colorado policy makers to continue working toward covering all kids as health reform is implemented. Colorado has made great strides toward its goal of providing quality, affordable health care coverage for all children, according to a new report from the All Kids Covered Coalition. Advocates and policy makers should consider seven key areas of focus to ensure Colorado maximizes the potential of health reform to benefit kids and doesn’t lose ground on coverage for children as the health insurance system is overhauled.

The report, The Future of Children’s Health Care Coverage in Colorado, details conditions in the past few years that helped reduce the number of uninsured children—including a shared commitment to children’s health care among the state’s leaders, regardless of party affiliation.

“Health reform has created more opportunities to help Colorado’s families—especially children—get the health care coverage they need to stay healthy,” said Cody Belzley, Vice President for Health Initiatives at the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “But advocates must remain vigilant to ensure that priorities for children aren’t lost during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

The report’s key considerations include:

  • Continued attention to children’s health coverage. Champions for children’s health care
    —elected officials, health care providers, community leaders and advocates—must continue to monitor how implementation of health reform and the ACA are impacting affordability, access and quality of coverage for kids.
  • The future of coverage for children currently enrolled in Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).An important question regarding health coverage for children is what future coverage options would be available to the approximately 70,000 Colorado kids served by CHP+ today if Congress discontinues funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at the federal level.
  • The impact of complex coverage for families with health insurance of various types.Research has shown that when parents have coverage, the enrollment and take-up rate of eligible children being enrolled in coverage is greater, so child advocates must pay attention to how successful expansions for families are implemented.
  • The movement of family members between different types of coverage and being
    uninsured.
    Colorado is poised to implement 12-month continuous eligibility for children with Medicaid coverage, which is a positive step, but advocates and policymakers must do more to ensure that transitions between coverage types are as smooth and seamless as possible for consumers.
  • The affordability of coverage. Advocates and policymakers should pay close attention to the total cost of private insurance-premiums and out of pocket costs- and availability of premium assistance to support coverage for individuals and dependents to make sure health insurance remains affordable for lower income and working families.
  • The adequacy of benefits for children. Public health coverage assures that children of all backgrounds get the benefits and protections they need to grow up healthy. That same level of attention will need to be paid to ensure newly covered children served by private insurance have the level of coverage needed to support their overall success.
  • The ability of immigrant children to acquire coverage and access services. An important question for the future is whether policy makers, providers, and advocates will be interested in supporting the safety net providers that currently serve all children regardless of their immigration status, in encouraging the state to use federal options to cover legally residing immigrants in Medicaid and CHP+, or in creating new programs or funding streams to provide health care to these children.

“As we continue to make improvements to our health care system, these key considerations must be addressed to continue and protect the tremendous progress we’ve made toward covering all of Colorado’s children,” said Gretchen Hammer, Executive Director of Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved. “We know that families with uninsured children often postpone or forgo care they need, putting their children’s health and success at risk.”

The full report is available on the All Kids Covered website, along with an executive summary. To learn more about All Kids Covered, including coalition partners, policy priorities and additional resources, visit www.allkidscoveredcolorado.org.

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About Colorado Children's Campaign


All Kids Covered Colorado is a statewide, non-partisan coalition dedicated to increasing access to affordable, high quality health insurance coverage and health care services for all children in Colorado. Since 2006, All Kids Covered has worked together with elected officials, health care leaders, state and county agency staff, and community-based organizations to improve, expand and protect health insurance options for children and families in Colorado

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Tara Manthey at (303) 620-4544 or email Tara at tara@coloradokids.org.