Skip to main content

Work in Action

Policy Wins

The Maternal Behavioral Health Policy and Financing Coalition (a workgroup of the Collaborative) sets policy priorities to center our collaborative efforts and ultimately to advance the four primary goals of the Colorado Maternal Mental Health Collaborative and Framework.

In 2021, recognizing challenges related to behavioral health as compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our coalition members and organizational partners sought to leverage coronavirus-related resources and federal relief legislation to implement sustainable policies that improve the behavioral health of pregnant and postpartum people and their infants. 

During the 2022 legislative session, we monitored and advocated for bills that advance the four primary goals of Colorado’s Maternal Mental Health Framework: Supportive Community; Maximized Prevention; Universal Screening and Appropriate Referral; and Comprehensive, Inclusive, and Responsive Continuum of Care.

We celebrate the successes of our partners and are immensely grateful for the impact of their work on the mental health and wellness needs of Colorado families.

  • 2022 POLICY WINS
  • Improves the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)/Colorado Works program by increasing basic cash assistance, expanding eligibility for specific populations, modifying program rules and operations, and requiring new public outreach, data collection, and reporting.

  • Creates the Behavioral Health Administration in the Department of Human Services to create a coordinated, cohesive, and effective behavioral health system in the state.

  • Establishes the Community Behavioral Health-Care Continuum Gap Grant Program in the Behavioral Health Administration; Appropriates $75 million from the Behavioral and Mental Health Cash Fund to that grant program, of which $35 million must be designated to community investment grants and $40 million to children, youth, and family services grants; Establishes the Substance Use Workforce Stability Grant Program to be awarded to support direct care staff who spend 50% or more of their time working with clients.

  • Expands Medicaid and Children's Basic Health Plan (CHP+) coverage to children, pregnant, and postpartum undocumented Coloradans; Improves the quality of health insurance coverage available through the Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise; Leverages federal funds to improve perinatal and postpartum support; Codifies and strengthens CDPHE’s survey of birthing parents; Makes comprehensive lactation support services, lactation supplies, and equipment a covered benefit under Medicaid.

  • Establishes the functions of the Department of Early Childhood and the leadership of the department in administering early childhood, child health, and family support programs; Creates the Colorado universal preschool program to provide at least 10 hours per week of free preschool services for children in the year before kindergarten, beginning with the 2023 school year.

  • Includes an appropriation aimed at protecting quality prenatal and postpartum care in Colorado’s Medicaid program and provides funding for stakeholder engagement to help drive Medicaid policy changes.

  • Directs the Department of Early Childhood to contract with a Colorado-based nonprofit entity to provide children's mental health programs; Appropriates $2.0 million in FY 2022-23 from the Economic Recovery and Relief Cash Fund to provide such programs that evidence-based, two-generation, and incorporate home-based prevention and early intervention services.

  • Creates the Colorado Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation and Access Program (CoPPCAP) in the University of Colorado to support primary care providers in identifying and treating mild to moderate behavioral health conditions and in identifying evidence-based resources and opportunities for care coordination; Appropriates funds from the behavioral and mental health cash fund to further expand access to behavioral health-care services for children and families.

  • Provides funding for a variety of early childhood programs and creates an advisory group and training program for family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) providers. Among several appropriations made to child care-related programs, the bill allocates $10.0 million from the Economic Recovery and Relief Cash Fund (ERRCF) for the Employer-Based Child Care Facility Grant Program and extension of the program through September 1, 2024, $1.0 million from the ERRCF to create the home visiting for early learning grant program, and $5.0 million for the home visiting workforce, early childhood mental health consultants, and early intervention providers.

  • 2021 POLICY WINS
  • Authorizes peer-run organizations to act as billing agents under Medicaid, ensures peer support professionals are reimbursed for providing services through telehealth and requires the state’s Managed Service Organizations to invest in recovery services as well as treatment programs

  • Requires the establishment of a standardized health benefit plan by rule to be offered by health insurance. The standardized plan will improve coverage for perinatal services and further expand access to health insurance coverage for people left out of health reform, including undocumented Coloradans

  • Expands Medicaid to include access to contraceptives for undocumented Coloradans and improves access to a year’s supply of contraceptives to any person who uses Medicaid on the first visit

  • Ensures access to all forms of contraception without costs to patients and ensures that recipients have access to their choice of family planning-related provider for conventional family planning services, as well as for counseling, prevention, and screening for a sexually transmitted infection

  • Expands Medicaid coverage for full family planning services to people who lack coverage and are just above the Medicaid income eligibility threshold

  • Provides two million dollars over two years to diaper distribution centers that make diapering essentials available to all parents, guardians, or family members of a child who wears diapers and resides in Colorado

  • Requires Medicaid to include screening of all caregivers for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and establishes an interim task force to issue a report and recommendations on policies to create transformational change in the area of behavioral health using federal funds

  • Requires facilities where people give birth to demonstrate policies that allow every birthing person to have a support person with them in addition to a partner or spouse, prioritize newborns bonding with their families, have a process for receiving and transferring patients across levels of care, and do not exclude from care or interrupt anyone experiencing birth without informed consent from the birthing person

  • Extends Medicaid coverage to 12 months postpartum and requires public & private health insurance plans to reimburse providers in a manner that promotes high-quality, cost-effective, and evidence-based care and expands the data collection and reporting duties of CDPHE and the MMRC to incorporate input and feedback from people who are directly impacted, with a focus on racial and ethnic minority groups, as well as non-profits and community-based groups, among other data points