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2021 Legislative and Issue Analysis

o view the analyses, click on "More Info" below the bill number or issue. All documents are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat for viewing.

Analyses are based on bills or issues at the time of their consideration by the Board of  Directors. Bills may change during the course of a legislative session. For the current status of these and other bills introduced in the Colorado legislature, visit the website for the Colorado General Assembly.

Occasionally the Board of Directors also will take a position on a ballot measure. In compliance with state election law, no analyses are prepared on ballot measures that are not of official concern to the Health District.

Questions about analyses? Contact the Health District at 970-224-5209.

2021 Legislative and Issue Analysis
Bill or Issue What it concerns HD Board Action Date Considered
HB21-1021: Peer Support Professionals Behavioral Health
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The bill requires the Department of Human Services to establish procedures to approve recovery support services organizations for reimbursement of peer support professional services. The bill permits a recovery support services organization to bill Medicaid for eligible peer support services and allows HCPF to reimburse those organizations. Additionally, recovery-centered language is added in multiple different behavioral health related statute. The Board voted to Support HB21-1021. March 9, 2021
HB21-1030: Expanding Peace Officers Mental Health Grant Program
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The bill expands the peace officers mental health support grant program to include funding for response services to enhance law enforcement’s handling of calls for services related to mental health and social service needs, including calls that do not require the presence of a peace officer. The Board voted to Support HB21-1030. February 9, 2021
HB21-1054: Housing Public Benefit Verification Requirement
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Currently, both federal and state law require that individuals verify lawful presence to receive certain government benefits. This bill removes the requirement to verify lawful presence for public or assisted housing benefits. The Board voted to Strongly Support HB21-1054. March 9, 2021
HB21-1075: Replace The Term Illegal Alien
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The bill replaces the term "illegal alien" with "worker without authorization" as it relates to public contracts for services. A “worker without authorization” is defined as an individual who is unable to provide evidence that the individual is authorized by the federal government to work in the United States. The Board voted to Strongly Support HB21-1075. February 23, 2021
HB21-1107: Protections for Public Health Department Workers
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Under current law, it unlawful to publish the personal information of a law enforcement official, human services worker, and their families, if the publishing of the personal information would pose an imminent and serious threat to their safety. This bill extends the protection of personal information on the internet to public health workers. The Board voted to Support HB21-1107. March 23, 2021
HB21-1150: Create the Colorado Office of New Americans
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The bill creates the Colorado Office of New Americans (ONA). The ONA serves as the point of contact for immigrant-serving state agencies, private sector organizations, and the public about immigrant issues in Colorado. As its main priority, the ONA is required to implement a statewide strategy to facilitate economic stability and promote successful economic, social, linguistic, and cultural integration by investing in the success of immigrants in Colorado. The Board voted to Support HB21-1150. However, the Board encourages legislators to add language to ensure that the use of the word “integration” in the bill cannot be used in the future in any way that would support the loss of someone’s cultural heritage April 13, 2021
HB21-1198: Health-care Billing Requirements for Indigent Patients
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The bill requires hospitals to screen uninsured patients for health coverage options and potential financial assistance for which they may be eligible. Each hospital must use a uniform application developed by the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) when screening a patient. It also limits the amount that low-income patients pay for certain health services by tying what they owe to an established rate while also limiting the size of payments charged on a monthly basis. The bill prohibits hospitals from sending a patient to collections unless certain conditions have been met. The Board voted to Support HB21-1198. Originally Considered: April 13, 2021 Reconsidered: April 27, 2021
HB21-1232: Standardized Health Benefit Plan Colorado Option
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The Colorado Health Insurance Option is a two-phased approach aimed at addressing the affordability of health insurance. Phase One includes the creation of a standardized insurance plan by the DOI for carriers to offer in the individual & small group markets at premium rate reduction targets. If that doesn't occur, Phase Two is triggered and the state will offer the plan under the Colorado Option Authority. The Board voted to remain Neutral on HB21-1232, but continue to monitor the bill as it is amended. April 13, 2021
HB21-1258: Rapid Mental Health Response for Colorado Youth
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The bill establishes a temporary Youth Mental Health Services Program within the Office of Behavioral Health to facilitate access to mental health services for youth to respond to identified mental health needs, including those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program reimburses provides for up to 3 mental health sessions. By July 1, 2021, a vendor has to be contracted with to create or use an existing website or application as a portal for both youth and providers to facilitate the program. The program is repealed June 30, 2022. The Board voted to Support HB21-1258, while noting some concerns.

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May 11, 2021
HB21-1297: Pharmacy Benefit Manager And Insurer Requirements
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The bill enacts the "Pharmacy Fairness Act", imposing requirements regarding contracts between pharmacy benefit managers and pharmacies. The bill requires an insurer or PBM to respond in real time to a request from an insured, their provider, or a third party regarding the cost, benefits, and coverage under their plan for a drug. The bill requires an insurer or PBM that removes a prescription drug from the prescription drug formulary or moves it to a higher cost tier on the formulary to notify a covered person and provide the same coverage for the drug without prior authorization. The Board voted to Support HB21-1297, while Strongly Supporting the provisions regarding real time responses to requests regarding cost and plan benefits as well as the provision concerning non-medical switching on health plan formularies. May 11, 2021
SB21-009: Reproductive Health Care Program
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The bill establishes the Reproductive Health Care program to provide contraceptives and family planning services for undocumented individuals. It also requires coverage of a one year supply of oral contraceptives for all Medicaid beneficiaries. The Board voted to Support SB21-009. February 23, 2021
SB21-011: Pharmacist Prescribe Dispense Opiate Antagonist
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The bill requires a pharmacist who dispenses an opioid prescription to inform the patient of the potential dangers of an opioid and to offer to prescribe the patient an opiate antagonist in certain circumstances. The Board voted to Support SB21-011. However, the Board recommends amendments.

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March 9, 2021
SB21-016: Protecting Preventive Health Care Coverage
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The bill would codify into Colorado law several preventive health care services provided under the federal Affordable Care Act. It would require Colorado health insurance carriers to provide these services without policy deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance, even if the ACA is overturned in the courts.. The bill expands preventive health services to include screenings for osteoporosis and urinary incontinence, as well as for the counseling, prevention, screening, and treatment of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The Board voted to Support SB21-016, but encourage only incorporation of screenings and services that are recommended by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Health Resources and Services Administration, and the National Academy of Medicine. March 9, 2021
SB21-025: Family Planning Service For Eligible Individuals
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The bill requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to seek federal approval, though a state plan amendment, to provide family planning services to individuals who are not pregnant and have an income less than 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Currently, adults are eligible for these services with incomes up to 133% FPL. The Board voted to Support SB21-025. February 23, 2021
SB21-085: Actuarial Review Health Insurance Mandate Legislation
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By November 1, 2021, the Division of Insurance (DOI) is to retain a contractor that has experience with health care policy and actuarial reviews. The contractor is to perform actuarial reviews on proposed legislation that may impose a new health benefit mandate on health plans. The Board voted to Oppose SB21-085. While they appreciate the intent of the law, the concern is that the timing and budget would not allow for the required quality of analysis that would lead to adequate meaningful data from which to make policy decisions Originally Considered :March 9, 2021 Reconsidered: April 13, 2021
SB21-154: 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network
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In 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the "National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020" designating 988 as the 3-digit number for the national suicide prevention lifeline. The bill implements 988 as the 3-digit number for crisis response services in Colorado. The Board voted to Support SB21-154. March 23, 2021
SB21-175: Prescription Drug Affordability Review Board
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The bill establishes a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) to conduct affordability reviews and set upper payment limits on certain expensive prescription drugs. The Board voted to Strongly Support SB21-175. March 9, 2021
SB21-181: - Equity Strategic Plan Address Health Disparities
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The bill expands and renames the Health Disparities Grant Program to the Health Disparities and Community Grant Program. the bill directs the Office of Health Equity to facilitate a state agency work group by July 1, 2022 to develop an Equity Strategic Plan to coordinate state agencies’ work in addressing social determinants of health disparities. The Board voted to Support SB21-181. April 27, 2021
SB21-199: Remove Barriers To Certain Public Opportunities
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Currently, both federal and state law require that individuals verify lawful presence to receive certain government benefits. This bill removes the requirement to verify lawful presence for state or local public benefits. Current law prohibits a state agency or political subdivision from entering into or renewing a public contract with a contractor who knowingly employs or contracts persons who are undocumented. The bill repeals that requirement and associated statutory provisions The Board voted to Strongly Support SB21-199 April 13, 2021
SB21-194: Maternal Health Providers
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The bill addresses a variety of topics related to maternal health and health care professionals that provide labor and delivery services. In particular, the bill requires the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to seek an amendment to the state Medicaid plan and the Children’s Health Plan Plus (CHP+) to provide 12 months of postpartum medical benefits to persons who qualified for benefits while pregnant. The Board took positions on sections of the bill.

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April 27, 2021
SB21-242: Housing Development Grants Hotels Tenancy Support Program
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The bill allows the Division of Housing within the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to use the housing development grant fund for rental assistance, tenancy support service programs, and awarding grants and loans to local governments and nonprofit organizations for the purchase of underutilized hotels, underutilized motels, and other underutilized properties. The bill appropriates $15 million for those purposes. The Board voted to Support SB21-242. April 27, 2021
SB21-243: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Appropriation Public Health Infrastructure
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For each of the 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 state fiscal years, the bill requires the General Assembly to appropriate $21,090,149 to the Department of Public Health and Environment as follows: (1) $10,000,000 for distributions to local public health agencies; and (2) $11,090,149 for disease control and public health response The Board voted to Support SB21-243. April 27, 2021