Colorado’s Citizen Legislature – Mar. 2020

By Doris Beaver ~

House Bill 20-1140:

HB 1140 concerns direct primary care service for medicaid recipients.  Under current law, “health care providers that treat Medicaid clients are prohibited by state and federal law from accepting payment from Medicaid clients outside of the terms set by the Medicaid program.” HB 1140, if passed, makes an exception to this prohibition for Medicaid clients who choose to purchase direct primary care services or enter into a direct primary care agreement with a provider.

State law defines a direct primary care agreement between a patient and a health care provider that specifies services to be provided in exchange for a fee, and prohibits the provider from submitting a fee-for-service claim for payment to a health insurance issuer for services covered under the agreement. Passage of HB 1140 would mean a Medicaid recipient could not be denied the right to enter into such an agreement or the right to purchase primary care services in such a manner. 

HB 1140 is yet to have its first committee hearing. 

Sponsors of HB 1140:  Representative Perry Buck (R-Larimer, Weld) 866-2907; and Senator Joann Ginal (D-Larimer) 866-4841. 

House Bill 20-1197:

HB 1197 requires the Department of Human Services to provide a $200,000 annual grant to the Colorado 2-1-1 collaborative. In October of 2002, the public utilities commission approved the use of a 2-1-1 number which was approved in recognition of the need to promote effective access to human services in Colorado. Beginning in the 2020-21 Fiscal Year, the General Assembly shall annually appropriate $200,000 for the provision of services to Coloradans as described in HB 1197. 

The 2-1-1 human services referral service is dedicated to providing individuals and families with referral information to obtain non-emergency services for those in need. 

It should be noted, the General Assembly found and declared that the 2-1-1 human services referral service providers should receive protection of immunity that is similar to the protection offered to the 9-1-1 emergency service. 

The annual grant is for the development, implementation, operation and support of the statewide human services referral service. HB 1197 provides for the consideration of a number of human services referral services which will in all likelihood involve considerable debate in committee hearings:  assistance in paying rental and utility bills, food and clothing banks, mental health assistance, GED and English as a second language classes, to name a few. The Colorado 2-1-1’s website states it holds information about more than 11,000 services across the state, “possibly providing border-to-boarder coverage.” HB 1197 has yet to have its first committee hearing. 

Sponsors of HB 20-1197:  Representatives Marc Snyder (D-El Paso) 866-2932 and Janice Rich (R-Mesa) 866-3068; and Senator Jeff Bridges (D-Arapahoe) 866-4846.

HB 1190:  

 HB 1190 concerns exemption from payment of vehicle ownership tax and registration fee by veterans with qualifying disabilities, and is available for only one vehicle owned by the veteran. The veteran must have established rights to benefits under the provision of Public Law 663, 79th Congress, as amended, and Public Law 287, 82nd Congress, as amended or is a veteran of the armed forces of the United States who incurred a disability and is receiving compensation from the veterans administration or any branch of the armed forces of the United States as described in the following paragraph. 

Exemption of payment of the registration fee is available to a veteran who is receiving compensation from the veterans administration or any branch of the armed forces of the United States for a fifty percent or more, service-connected, permanent disability or for loss of use of one or both feet or one or both hands, or for permanent impairment or loss of vision in both eyes that constitutes virtual blindness. 

A veteran who has the same disabilities as noted in above paragraph is exempt from paying the vehicle ownership tax, and need not obtain a disabled veterans license plate issued under Section 42-3-223 of the C.R.S. before receiving this exemption.

Sponsors of HB 20-1190: Donald Valdez (D-Alamosa Conejos, Costilla, Huerfano, Mineral, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache) and Lois Landgraf (R-El Paso). No sponsor yet in the Senate. 

Doris Beaver

Doris Beaver

Doris Beaver is a freelance journalist who writes from her home high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains on senior issues, politics, ethics and environmental issues. Visit her website, or e-mail her at Doris is a ten-year member of the Society of Professional Journalists.