Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+): Latest Resources

As you may be aware, if Congress does not renew federal funding, CHP+ in Colorado will end on January 31, 2018. Congress can pass a law at any time to renew federal funding for CHP+, but there is no guarantee that they will.

As of today, there are no changes to CHP+ benefits, eligibility or enrollment.

The Department has developed resources to help you answer questions from CHP+ applicants and members. We encourage you to bookmark CO.gov/HCPF/FutureCHP and subscribe to our Future of CHP+ updates here.

New FAQs Available Online Now

The Department has published new frequently asked questions (FAQs) on CO.gov/HCPF/FutureCHP.

Member Communications

In late November, CHP+ members received an informational notice. The sample correspondence is available on CO.gov/HCPF/child-health-plan-plus-chp-member-letters.

If Congress does not act by mid-December 2017, CHP+ members will receive an Eligibility Notice of Action in late December. A sample of this letter will be available soon.

Resources

November 20 Future of CHP+ Recorded Webinar: The Department has made available a recorded webinar on CO.gov/HCPF/FutureCHP facilitated by Gretchen Hammer, Medicaid Director. The webinar provides members, providers, stakeholders, advocates, eligibility partners and counties information about the future of CHP+. The information in this recording is current as of November 20, 2017.

CHP+ Member Messaging: The Department has developed CHP+ member messaging that is available on CO.gov/HCPF/FutureCHP. These resources include talking points, phone hold messaging, social media posts, newsletter content, FAQs, etc.

 

COLORADO ABLE LAUNCHES SAVINGS PROGRAM FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Coloradans Achieving a Better Life Experience program helps families prepare for the future with tax-advantaged savings plans that preserve eligibility for public disability benefits.

Colorado ABLE, a new program that offers tax-advantaged savings plans for people living with disabilities, was officially launched today. ABLE savings accounts are designed to help persons with disabilities save for their futures and promote independence, while protecting their eligibility for public assistance programs.

Eligible individuals and their families may now save up to $100,000 through Colorado ABLE savings accounts, without affecting their eligibility for SSI, Medicaid and other public assistance.

Previously, accumulated assets of just $2,000 would trigger ineligibility for public assistance for people with disabilities, presenting an untenable choice for many families. As mandated by the national ABLE Act, the onset of disability must have occurred prior to 26 years of age.

Additionally, earnings gained in Colorado ABLE accounts are not considered taxable income on federal tax returns, as long as the funds are spent on qualified expenses as a result of a disability, such as education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, personal support services, health care, and other expenses which improve health, independence and quality of life. “The State of Colorado is proud to make this valuable resource available,” commented Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. “Fostering independence and self-sustainability is not only the right thing to do, it’s good for everyone in Colorado.”

For detailed information about the program, please visit www.coloradoable.org.

 

 

Cures Act and Special Needs Trusts

Implications of the Cures Act for Special Needs Trusts

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Medicaid Director Letter (SMDL) # 17-001 on the  21st Century Cures Act: Special Needs Trust. Section 5007 of the 21st Century Cures Act (the “Cures Act”), Pub. L. No. 114-255, supports the independence of individuals with disabilities by permitting them to set up a special needs trust on their own behalf, rather than having to rely on a third party to do so. Special needs trusts generally permit individuals living with disabilities who are under age 65 to set aside assets to meet their needs without impacting their eligibility for Medicaid. This letter provides guidance to states on the implications of section 5007 of the Cures Act, entitled “Fairness in Medicaid Supplemental Needs Trusts,” for individuals who have disabilities.

For more information on the letter issued today click here: https://www.medicaid.gov/federal-policy-guidance/downloads/smd17001.pdf

Making Colorado a better place for children and youth with special health care needs