Illuminate Colorado is proud to join a wide array of healthcare providers, community organizations and citizens across Colorado in advocating for HB22-1289 Health Benefits For Colorado Children And Pregnant Persons, a recently-introduced bill being led by the Center for Health Progress that would Cover All Coloradans

HB22-1289 helps to ensure that all Coloradans have access to health insurance, especially during the critical periods of pregnancy and childhood. Access to health insurance helps to build Protective Factors in families by increasing their financial security and improving the physical, mental and behavioral health of the whole family. 

Where are we now?

While efforts to expand access to health insurance in Colorado have reduced uninsured rates, wide disparities by race and ethnicity remain. In particular, Colorado’s Hispanic/Latinx women of reproductive age are three times more likely to be uninsured, and our state’s Latinx children are twice as likely to be uninsured, compared to their non-Hispanic peers.1 

Uninsured Rates for Women (age 18-44) in Colorado, 2021

  • Non-Hispanic White 4.8% 4.8%
  • Hispanic/Latinx 14.1% 14.1%

Uninsured Rates for Children (age 0-18) in Colorado, 2021

  • Non Hispanic/Latinx 1.3% 1.3%
  • Hispanic/Latinx 7.5% 7.5%

How does HB22-1289 help Coloradans?

HB22-1289 addresses these disparities head on and improves the accessibility to and effectiveness of health insurance coverage for all Colorado children and pregnant and postpartum individuals by:

Expanding coverage.

    • Providing full health care coverage using existing federal funding for pregnant people who would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid and the children’s basic health plan (CHIP) if not for their immigration. status, and continuing coverage through 12 months postpartum.
    • Providing full health care coverage to children, regardless of immigration status, through age 18.

Providing support to pregnant and postpartum individuals by improving access to parental support programs.

Collecting data for improved health care equity by strengthening and permanently authorizing the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s Health eMoms Survey.

Expanding health insurance enrollment by creating a Special Enrollment Period for pregnancy so that people can sign up for insurance when they become pregnant and not have to wait until later in the year.

Increasing utilization by creating an outreach and enrollment strategy for enrolling eligible groups into new coverage options.

 

All people need access to health insurance, which is an important social determinant of health and vital building block of family financial security, especially during the unique times of childhood and during and after pregnancy. HB22-1289 is critical to improving health insurance coverage for Colorado’s children and pregnant and postpartum individuals, including by addressing the disparities that families of color face when they are routinely and systemically denied access to care.

Colorado should not miss this opportunity that more than 20 other states (Figure 2) have already taken to lower infant, child and adult mortality rates and to support the physical and mental health of all children and pregnant and postpartum individuals who call our state home.

 

How can I get involved?

HB22-1289 is scheduled to be heard in the House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee on March 25, 2022, upon adjournment of the full House. Contact members of the committee before the hearing to urge them to ensure all of Colorado’s children and pregnant and postpartum individuals have access to critical health insurance coverage by voting ‘yes’ on HB22-1289. 

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