Enrollees in Colorado's Child Health Plan Plus Urged to Research Alternatives

By Rodgers, Jakob | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), November 27, 2017 | Go to article overview

Enrollees in Colorado's Child Health Plan Plus Urged to Research Alternatives


Rodgers, Jakob, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)


A health insurance program covering thousands of low-income children and new and expectant mothers across Colorado - including more than 7,200 in El Paso County - could run out of money in two months.

The Child Health Plan Plus program will end Jan. 31, unless Congress reauthorizes funding for it after having failed to do so earlier this year for the first time in two decades.

On Monday, the program's leaders sent letters to enrollees across the state, suggesting they begin researching new options for coverage in case Congress doesn't act in time. As recently as September, it covered 7,268 children and mothers in El Paso County, and 75,334 people across the state.

Health insurance sign-ups through Colorado's exchange on the rise

"It's frustrating that our CHP+ families are facing this uncertainty, especially during the holidays," said Tom Massey, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing's interim executive director, in a statement.

The program offers health coverage to children, pregnant women and new mothers whose household incomes are under 260 percent of the federal poverty level. That's about $42,200 for a family of two and about $64,000 for a family of four.

That coverage is available for an annual fee that's based on a sliding scale, which tops out at $105 per family. Enrollees also can be charged copays.

Congress had until Sept. 30 to reauthorize its share of the program, known nationally as the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. But that never happened, leaving states scrambling to keep the program going on fumes as long as possible. …

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