Katelynn Brown, Medicaid Health Care Coordinator, Success Story

                                                          

Success Story, Connect for Health Colorado Resource

The Community of Caring’s Aspen Mine Centers (AMCW), located in Cripple Creek, Colorado has existed as a reliable resource destination for our community for over twenty years. Community of Caring has a contracted position with Colorado Community Health Alliance as the Health First Colorado Medicaid Coordinator in Teller County. This position allows us to support our Health First Colorado Medicaid Members who reside in Teller County. We were fortunate to receive a 2023 CIP Grant for the Continuous Enrollment/ UNWIND program, so we were able to meet with some of the local HR Coordinators and explain the process and how the AMCW may be able to benefit their employees.  One of the many resources we can aid our community members with, is the online marketplace Connect for Health Colorado. Because of CCHA and the Client Services Team within AMCW we can assist members with accessing the tool during case management appointments.  We also share this resource with our clients searching either on their own devices (cell phone, laptop, tablets etc.) or members also have the option to “check out” a Laptop or IPad at our office kiosks. We can provide a private office with stable available WIFI. We can conduct home visits as well.

We have had a client whose family would no longer qualify for Health First Colorado Medicaid, as her children had reached the age that they could attend school freeing her to return to work. Our client had heard of our AMCW services through her HR department, during orientation of her new job. The human resources employee had stated that if the health insurance that was provided through the work place was not something they were interested in or could afford, to contact the AMCW, as they have resources to help you when shopping for health insurance. I was very excited to receive her call and make an appointment, as well as letting her know Connect for Health Colorado also offers Broker assistance if you feel comfortable looking on your own. The member felt the better option was to come in and explore her options, and we did so together. I told her If you’ve lost coverage or know you are going to lose coverage through Health First Colorado, we can apply through Connect for Health Colorado within 60 days of losing your coverage, so let’s take advantage of this!

At first she had been shocked at some of the monthly payment options and premiums and was losing confidence that she would be able to afford health insurance. (And a note that I (Katelynn Brown) will be sure to pass along to anyone who is navigating this site, as an individual or with a client, is to be aware of the premium tax credit amounts that are listed). I have many stories that people give up when they see the premiums and end up without health insurance. After pointing out to my client the amount with the tax credit awarded monthly is actually a lot more affordable, she started to feel more comfortable comparing plans. We were able to estimate her savings and use the anonymous tool offered, to compare plans based on the estimated total healthcare costs for a year including premiums, medications, copays, coinsurance and other costs not paid by the health insurance company. The excitement of the possible tax credit and note of qualifying for lower monthly payments after we used this tool was so exciting to her! She felt she a choice and did not have to face being locked in to the undesirable health insurance that based on her family’s needs was expensive and not the right fit. I strongly recommended that she speak with an actual broker for all final questions. She was so happy to have known about this choice, she tells anyone who is in her situation about Connect for Health Colorado and how we the Aspen Mine Center West have a Client Services Team, Teller County Department of Human Services office and a Medicaid Coordinator that offer resources. She says, “Just go talk to them! I know I’m glad I did!”

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