Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Senior Law Day Conference

Living Informed-Putting the pieces together

Mesa County, Co. – Planning for retirement and beyond can seem like a puzzle that never quite fits properly for many Mesa County Seniors and their families. That is where the Senior Law Day Conference on May 1, 2014 will help put all those pieces together for local residents.

The Senior Law Day Conference
May 1, 2014
Two River Convention Center
159 Main Street, Grand Junction
Registration is $5.00,
 which includes lunch, presentations, vendor show & materials
(Pre-registration is required by dialing 211)

The Keynote Speaker during lunch will be Chief District Court Judge, David A. Bottger

This daylong event will include presentations, vendor booths, lunch, a keynote speaker and door prizes.  Presentations will be offered on a wide variety of issues ranging from reverse mortgages, wills & trusts to long- term care planning, and much more.
Medical Decision Making in Colorado
Advance Care Planning Session Open to the Public

Mesa County, CO – End-of-life decisions can be difficult. The public is invited to learn how to prepare for and make these decisions easier during the Continuing the Conversation Symposium, sponsored by the Mesa County Advance Care Planning Task Force and hosted by St. Mary’s Hospital.

Two Sessions are scheduled on April 16th
9:00am - 11:00am.  (check in begins at 8:30am)
5:30pm-7:30pm (check in begins at 5:00pm)

The event will take place on the 5th floor of the Saccomanno Education Center located at 2635 North 7th Street.

The sessions will cover how to discuss end-of-life concerns with your physician, your family and friends.  In addition, there will be an interactive town-hall discussion concerning having the conversation.  Tools will be shared so participants can continue the conversation at home with family and friends.

“We are pleased to be offering this very important presentation to the community,” said Mary Watson, member of the Mesa County Advance Care Planning Task Force. “We are confident participants who attend will leave with information and materials they need to begin or continue the conversation about their medical wishes,” added Watson.

In lieu of an admission fee, participants are asked to bring non-perishable food items for the local food bank. Registration is required.  Those interested in attending can register by calling Western Colorado 2-1-1; simply dial 2-1-1,  (888) 217-1215, 244-8400 from a cell phone.

For more information, please visit  or

April 16th is National Health Care Decisions Day, a national grassroots initiative to encourage individuals to express their health care wishes through conversations and the completion of advance directives. More information can be found at

Friday, March 7, 2014


DENVER – March 4, 2014 – The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing recently
received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide 12
months of continuous health care coverage to children enrolled in Medicaid or Child Health
Plan Plus (CHP+). Medicaid and CHP+ are free or low cost public health insurance programs
for Coloradans who qualify.

“The Department, along with our county, community partners, and children’s advocacy
groups continue to work towards a healthier Colorado,” says Susan E. Birch, MBA, BSN,
RN, executive director. “Twelve months of continuous coverage for Medicaid and CHP+
children will foster continuity of care, provide consistent access to preventive services and
shift towards greater use of primary care medical homes. Continuous coverage also helps to
facilitate relationship development between health care providers, children and parents.”

Beginning March 1, 2014, children enrolled and those who newly qualify, will remain
covered by Medicaid or CHP+ for 12 months even if their family’s income or household size
changes. Children applying for coverage and currently enrolled children do not need to
take action; 12 month continuous coverage will be automatically applied. The
Department expects more than 535,000 children in Colorado will benefit from 12 months of
continuous coverage.

The new 12 month continuous Medicaid and CHP+ coverage for children is financed by the
Colorado Health Care Affordability Act and was signed into law in 2009. This Act has
previously funded additional health care coverage expansion programs for CHP+ children
and pregnant women, adults without children, and the Medicaid Buy-In programs for
children and working adults with disabilities.

Colorado is one of 24 states that now provides continuous coverage for children in both
Medicaid and CHP+. Medicaid coverage for adults will remain month to month. The
Department has not received legislative or federal approval for adults to have 12 months of
continuous coverage.

For more information please see the Department’s frequently asked questions at:

About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing: The department
administers the Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus programs as well as a variety of other
programs for low-income Coloradans who qualify. The mission of the department is to improve
health care access and outcomes for the people we serve while demonstrating sound stewardship
of financial resources. For more information about the department, please visit
# # # 

 Medicaid & CHP+ Continuous Coverage for Kids Frequently Asked 

What is 12 month continuous eligibility or coverage for children?
Twelve months of continuous coverage for children is a new policy for children enrolled
in Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). Starting March 1, 2014, children in
Medicaid or CHP+ will get 12 months of guaranteed coverage, even if their family’s
income or size changes.

Who can get 12 months of continuous coverage from Medicaid or Child Health Plan
Plus (CHP+)?
Children who qualify for Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) under the age of 19
are guaranteed 12 months of coverage. Twelve months of guaranteed coverage for
children starts March 1, 2014.

My child has Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), do I need to do anything
for them to get 12 months of continuous coverage?
No. Children currently enrolled in Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) do not
need to do anything. Twelve months of continuous coverage is automatic starting March
1, 2014. You do not need to apply or request 12 months of continuous coverage for your

My child has Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). My income has changed
since we were approved for Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), will this
impact my child’s coverage?
No. Children who qualify for Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) under the age
of 19 qualify for 12 months of continuous coverage, even if the family’s income changes.
Changes to a family’s income may impact an adult’s coverage. Adults over the
age of 19 do not qualify for 12 months of continuous coverage.

Can adults get 12 months of continuous coverage for Medicaid or Child Health Plan
Plus (CHP+)?
No. Adults over the age of 19 cannot get 12 months of continuous coverage for Medicaid
or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). Colorado does not have legislative or federal approval
to provide adults with 12 months of continuous coverage for Medicaid or CHP+.

How can I get additional information?
If you have questions about twelve months of continuous coverage for children, call the
Medicaid Customer Contact Center at 1-800-221-3943/ TDD 1-800-659-2656. Hours:
Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. (closed state holidays). Please be advised the call
volume is high and wait times can be up to an hour.

You can also visit to see more comprehensive Frequently

CDHS and Casey Family Programs to Help Foster Youth Find Permanent Homes

 The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) has received $300,000 from its national partner Casey Family Programs to help foster youth find a loving, caring family.
CDHS has identified as many as 158 children and teenagers who are at risk of significant challenges if they do not find a permanent family. These challenges include homelessness, under-employment, failure to graduate from school, and criminal behavior.
The Casey Family Programs support will help Colorado caseworkers who are already searching for permanent homes for the youth before they turn 18 years old and age-out of the foster care system.
“Casey Family Programs believes that every child deserves to grow up in a safe, supportive and permanent family,” said Eric Fenner, managing director, Casey Family Programs. “We are pleased to support the State of Colorado in its efforts to find permanent families for youth.”
“This enhanced partnership with Casey Family Programs will help Colorado’s children find loving families,” said Julie Krow, director, CDHS Office of Children, Youth and Families. “We often find that family members, neighbors, even parents of a child’s friend are willing to adopt a child from the child welfare system, but need to overcome minimal financial barriers, like buying an extra bed or making an upgrade to a home, to meet a child’s needs. That is how this support will help us.”
Casey Family Programs is the nation's largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building Communities of Hope for children and families across America.
CDHS will disburse the resources to its county partners on a case-by-case basis. The support allows up to $10,000 per youth. Counties may begin applying for the program on March 1.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mandatory Reporting 101

Reporting Elder Abuse will be mandated by law
 July 1, 2014.

Mesa County, Co. – As of July 1st o f this year, reporting elder abuse will be mandated by Colorado State Law. Senate Bill SB13-111 was passed last year and will be implemented statewide by July 1, 2014. Before July Coloradoans will need to know who is a mandatory reporter and how to report suspected abuse. Mesa County Department of Human Services is offering this training on mandatory reporting of at-risk elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. The training will answer questions about the new law and provide information on the following:

·       What is mandatory reporting?
·       Who is required to report?
·       What situations must be reported and to whom?
·       How to make a report to Adult Protection Services (APS) and Law Enforcement?

This training will be provided at no cost to organizations such as- Medical personnel, long term care facility personnel, mental health professionals, social workers, law enforcement personnel, court appointed guardians and conservators, fire protection personnel, pharmacists, dentists, bank personnel, home health providers and affiliated parties, emergency medical service providers, physical therapists, clergy and chiropractors...the list goes on……

Help us pull back the curtain on elder abuse!

Candace McGuire Adult Protection/Adult Services Supervisor, Mesa County DHS-at 248-2802 will be the available for interviews on all facets of this training and new law. 

In Observance of Presidents Day, Mesa County Department of Human Services offices will be Closed

In observance of Presidents Day, all Mesa County Department of Human Services offices will be closed on Monday, February 17. All offic...