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State of Colorado Benefit Plan Medical Insurance Supplement - Classified Staff

July 29, 2009

Governor Ritter signed House Bill 07-1335, a bill passed by the Colorado Legislature in 2007 designed to address the cost of medical insurance for low-income families eligible for State of Colorado employee medical plans. The funding for this medical insurance supplement comes from the State's share of the settlement from the federal tobacco lawsuit award.

The intent of this bill is to provide a supplement for qualified low-income State Classified employees with children, in part because State employees are not eligible to enroll in Colorado’s Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) program, which is Colorado’s version of the federal program to help insure the children of low-income families.

The implementation of this program began in the FY09 plan year and is anticipated to continue for FY10 (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010). Employees’ who meet the minimum eligibility requirements may begin the application process Aug. 3, 2009, and ensure the on-line application is submitted no later than the Aug. 14, 2009 deadline.

The State will not mail the July 2009 edition of Healthline to employee’s homes outlining the medical supplement. Instead, the State of Colorado requests employees to visit their website to see detailed information about this program and application process. You may locate this information on the State of Colorado’s website: http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/dhr/benefits.

Application period (Aug. 3-14, 2009)

Eligible State Classified Staff may apply for the supplement during the application period. Applications must be completed on-line via the State’s Employee Benefits web site by locating the “FY10 Medical Insurance Supplement Program” in the Benefits News Section at: http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/dhr/benefits.

All on-line applications must be submitted electronically no later than Aug. 14, 2009.

The on-line application will require basic demographic information (names and birthdates) related to the employee, family members, household members, 2008 household income (2008 tax return) for all adults and current medical insurance information. Please make sure you have the necessary information to complete the application process. Submission of a hard copy of this documentation is not required to complete the on-line application, but prior to award supplements, employees will be required to provide household income verification. This includes documentation for all adults living in the same household who filed a 2008 federal tax return as well as documentation (birth certificates) showing eligibility for dependent children.

Eligibility qualifications

There are many qualifications required to meet eligibility for the medical supplement and not all employees will receive a distribution from this program. The provisions of House Bill 07-1335 require that the money be awarded based upon demonstrated need within the parameters defined. It is estimated that the settlement will pay for a “portion” of the premiums for the employees with the greatest financial need and will not cover the entire premium cost. The minimum qualifications necessary to submit an application include:

- Hired “prior” to July 1, 2009
- Eligible for State of Colorado Classified Staff medical plans
- Have a dependent child eligible for State medical coverage
- 2008 calendar year “household” income of 300% or less defined by the 2008 Federal. Poverty Level defined at:  www.colorado.gov/dpa/dhr/benefits/docs1/related/07povertyguide.pdf
          --- Tier 1 – household income at or under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level
          --- Tier 2 – household income at or between 201% and 250% of the Federal Poverty Level
          --- Tier 3 – household income at or between 251% and 300% of the Federal Poverty Level
- Filed a 2008 federal income tax return
- Employee and dependent children (and spouse if desired) must be enrolled in, or willing to enroll in, a State medical insurance option for FY10
          --- Enrolled Employees – may not change medical plans if a supplement is awarded, but may add dependent children to the existing medical coverage. 
          --- Employees who are “not” enrolled – may still apply if the eligibility requirements for application submission are met. If approved, employees will receive an opportunity to enroll in State medical coverage and at that time if the supplement is not enough to make the coverage "affordable” for the employee, enrollment is not required.

Note: The State of Colorado Benefits Unit announced that House Bill 07-1335, passed by the Colorado’s legislature in 2007, states that the money is to be distributed first to Tier 1 applicants, which is the highest poverty level. Money will not be distributed to Tier 2 applicants until 100% of the premium for all applicants in Tier 1 is covered. Money cannot be distributed to Tier 3 applicants until 100% of the medical premiums of Tier 2 can be paid. If 100% of the premiums for Tier 1 applicants cannot be covered by the program, applicants in Tier 2 and Tier 3 will not receive a supplement. The amounts of the supplements will be determined by the total number of qualified applicants, available funds, and the cost of the insurance plans chosen by applicants.

Medical Supplement allocation time frame

It is important to understand that the amount of supplement, if any, as determined by the State legislature, cannot be determined at the time of application. The allocation of supplement funds will be determined in August/September 2009 and eligible State Classified Staff will be notified by the State of Colorado at that time with instructions on documentation submission to validate the application information. The first supplement is not expected to be awarded until October/November 2009.

Enrollment assistance

The CSU Benefits staff is available to assist you with the on-line application process.  You may come to the Benefits Office located at 555 S. Howes, Suite 210, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Contact: Teri Suhr, benefits manager
E-mail: teri.suhr@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-6737