Health Care

Colorado children’s health insurance program gets funding extension through February

DENVER – Colorado’s children health insurance program will be funded through at least February, as the state budget committee approved emergency funding that will temporarily stop cancellation notices from being sent out next week.

The Joint Budget Committee on Thursday approved Gov. John Hickenlooper’s request for $9.6 million to continue covering the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), which provides health insurance coverage for around 75,000 children and about 800 expectant mothers in Colorado who don’t qualify for Medicaid. Continue reading

Colorado Democrats vote against stopgap spending bill with no long-term DACA, CHIP fixes

DENVER – Congress voted Thursday to pass a continuing spending bill that will fund the federal government through Jan. 19 when it is signed by President Trump, but all of Colorado’s Democratic delegation voted against the measure, saying Congress should stay and extend programs for young immigrants and children’s health insurance before going home for the holidays.

In the House, Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis voted against another funding extension, while Sen. Michael Bennet made the same choice in the Senate. All four House Republicans and Sen. Cory Gardner voted in favor of the temporary package. Continue reading

Hickenlooper and bipartisan panel of governors call for immediate CHIP reauthorization

DENVER – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper continued to press Congress to restore the Children’s Health Insurance Program before states’ funding dries up, sending a letter Tuesday to congressional leaders signed by him and 11 other governors from both parties.

“Since its creation, CHIP has enjoyed strong bipartisan support. We encourage you to work across the aisle to find common ground that will allow this important program to continue and give the families who rely on CHIP the peace of mind of knowing that their children will be able to get the health care they need in the new year,” the letter said, which was written by Hickenlooper and Republican Gov. John Kasich, among 10 others. Continue reading

Marijuana use among Colorado teens declines again, government report shows

DENVER – Colorado adolescents are using marijuana at the lowest rate in a decade, and the rates at which the same group of children are using it continues to decline since recreational marijuana went on sale here in 2014, according to new data published by the federal government.

The new data comes from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health yearly report, which is performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

According to the report, the rate by which children aged 12-17 have used marijuana in the past month fell from 11.13 percent in 2014-15 to 9.08 percent in 2015-16. Continue reading

Colorado starting to decide which kids, mothers at ‘greatest risk’ should CHIP funding expire

DENVER – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Tuesday the state was in the process of creating a list of children and pregnant mothers who are at the “greatest risk” should Congress not fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) before Colorado’s funding runs out at the end of January.

“This is probably one of the very few issues the majority of Republicans and Democrats all agree should be a priority for funding in this country,” the governor said Tuesday. Continue reading

Colorado health insurance enrollment stays steady, now up 29% over 2016

DENVER – Despite a slowdown last week in national Affordable Care Act enrollments, people in Colorado continue to sign up for health insurance at a clip higher than last year.

Nearly 44,000 people in Colorado signed up for health insurance through the state marketplace in November, an increase of 29 percent over the same time period the year before, when just over 34,000 people signed up in November.

And enrollments in Colorado stayed relatively stable over the second half of the month when compared to the first. Continue reading

Study: Colorado family planning program greatly reduced pregnancies, abortions among young women

DENVER – A state family planning program has significantly reduced the state’s teen birth rate and abortion rate among teens and young women, according to analysis from the University of Colorado.

The study found Colorado’s Title X Family Planning Program helped provide IUDs or birth control implants to nearly 44,000 people between 2009 and 2016.

It also found that for women aged 15 to 19, the state’s birth rate fell by 54 percent over the same time period. The birth rate fell by 30 percent for women aged 20 to 24, the study found. Over that time period, the average age of a woman’s first birth in Colorado increased by more than a year among all women. Continue reading

Coloradans increasingly displeased with President Trump, poll finds

DENVER – Colorado voters are increasingly displeased with President Donald Trump and are looking ahead to 2018’s political races with high interest, according to a new poll released this week.

The poll from Keating Research, based in Telluride, shows two-thirds of state voters have an unfavorable opinion of the president, and three in five think he is “dishonest and tells lies.” Continue reading

Colorado sends letters to CHP+ recipients warning that federal match runs out at end of January

DENVER – Colorado is advising people who use the state’s Children’s Health Plan Plus (CHP+) program to start looking for private insurers in the event that federal funding for the program runs out early next year.

The state Department of Health Care Policy and Financing started sending letters to the approximately 70,000 people covered by CHP+ notifying them that if Congress doesn’t act to restore federal CHIP funding, which helps fund CHP+ in Colorado, that the state’s matched funding will run out at the end of January. Continue reading

Enrollment on Colorado’s health insurance marketplace up 33% so far from 2016

DENVER – Colorado’s health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, has seen a 33-percent increase in signups in the first two weeks of open enrollment this year when compared to 2016.

More than 22,600 Coloradans have picked a plan on the state’s ACA marketplace—an increase of more than 5,000 people who signed up for coverage between Nov. 1 and Nov. 15 of last year. Continue reading