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Colorado Consumer Health Initiative

CCHI assists consumers struggling with the cost of medical bills and prescriptions. Your donation supports our assistance program and puts you at the center of our critical advocacy and policy work to improve access to healthcare. Please donate today to support a consumer voice in healthcare!

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Policy Advocacy

Class

Health Care 

Beneficiaries

Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
At-Risk Populations
Families
General population
People/Families of People with Health Conditions

Description

CCHI works to improve equity, access, and affordability of health care so that consumers can access the health care they need, when they need it without risking their financial security. CCHI conducts policy research to develop policy solutions that support critical improvements in the health care system in Colorado. As a membership organization, we work closely with individuals and organizations that help inform and guide our work. We advocate with our members and partners at the state legislature and regulatory agencies to develop policy champions and to advance change.

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Evidence of Program's Success

In recent years the percentage of uninsured Coloradans has dropped significantly from 15.8% down to 6.5%. However, significant inequities persist for communities of color and low-income communities. CCHI has helped bring about changes that protect Colorado consumers like legislation that implements strong surprise billing protections. We have advanced changes that improve affordability and access for marginalized communities by helping pass the Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise. For more on our legislative victories, please see our legislative reports at https://cohealthinitiative.org/our-work/at-the-capitol/. To read more about our collaborative work on health insurance affordability, see our blog posts, part 1 at https://unitedstatesofcare.org/blog/state-action-how-colorado-stakeholders-used-a-creative-solution-to-improve-access-to-health-insurance-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/ and part 2 at https://unitedstatesofcare.org/blog/state-success-story-part-2-how-colorado-advocates-built-and-used-a-diverse-coalition-to-give-more-families-access-to-health-care/.

Strategic Engagement

Class

Health Care 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Families
General population
People/Families of People with Health Conditions

Description

CCHI uses a variety of strategies to engage Coloradans in order to understand their experience with the health care system and help them to elevate their voices to bring about change. We reach out to consumers through digital media engagement, community events, and a new field program. We listen to consumer concerns, help individuals share their stories, and provide training and support to new advocacy leaders who can help advance changes in health care. CCHI also works regularly with the Colorado media and cultivates relationships with reporters to ensure that consumer experiences and stories are represented in media coverage of health care issues.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

CCHI has a robust story bank of individuals who are interested in sharing their health care story to influence and advance health care change in Colorado, and to develop their advocacy leadership skills: https://facebook.com/cohealthaccess/videos/1360264980663095/. With our new field program, which we launched in Spring of 2020, we have reached out to thousands of Coloradans, activated hundreds, and engaged dozens to join us in our advocacy. We are also frequently a resource for the Colorado and national media helping to frame the consumer experience in health care for the general public: https://cohealthinitiative.org/all-media/#media|2

Consumer Assistance Program

Class

Health Care 

Beneficiaries

Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
At-Risk Populations
Disabled
General population
People/Families of People with Health Conditions

Description

The Consumer Assistance Program exists because Coloradans often need extra support accessing and affording their health care. We provided this direct service so that people do not have to risk their financial security in order to access the health care they need, when they need it. CCHI assists and empowers Coloradans by helping people negotiate medical billing problems and identifying financial assistance for paying for health coverage, hospital bills, and prescription drugs. We provide consumers the tools and resources they need to advocate for themselves with health insurance companies, collections agencies, or provider offices, and we work side by side with individuals who need extra help sorting through their bills or filing appeals and complaints. For consumers who are activated by their experience, we help them share their stories with the media and lawmakers so that we can make the systemic changes necessary to ensure others do not face the same access and affordability problems.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

CCHI has always been an advocate for consumer health care in Colorado. In the past three years, we have significantly more people calling us for help with out of network billing issues, trouble accessing hospital charity care, problems affording their prescriptions, and medical bills in collections. With funding from Next Fifty Foundation in 2018, we started the Consumer Assistance Program to provide one on one support. We are proud to be the recipient of a new grant from Next Fifty Foundation this fall which will allow us to expand into northern Colorado. As of October 2020, with two staff members and three volunteers, we have assisted more than 900 Coloradans across the state and helped them save over $2,000,000 in medical bills and prescription drug costs.

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