An Interview with Catherine Strode
It’s estimated that 85 percent of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities are unemployed or underemployed. The state legislature is in the process of passing a bill (Senate Bill 18-145) to address that problem and lower that rate in Colorado. The bill implements three main recommendations of a five-year strategic plan created by a State Advisory Partnership. The bill’s sponsor, State Senator John Kefalas (Senate District 14) says the bill also supports a culture shift.
In an interview with Catherine Strode, Senator Kefalas says the bill supports the concept of ‘Employment First’. The concept is based on developing a culture of meaningful employment for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities which moves them out of sheltered workshops and into community-based jobs.
Follow the link below for a PDF of the 2013 House Committee schedule:
Follow the link below for a PDF of the 2013 Senate Committee schedule:
Follow the link below to access the 2012 Voter Guide which outlines issues ranging from Medicaid, to juvenile justice, to pending federal legislation that all affect the community of individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Use the guide to contact candidates for both Colorado legislature and U.S. Congress to raise awareness about these issues.
Don’t forget to vote on Election Day on November 6th, 2012! Our voices count!
Coloradans with disabilities have long faced the complex issue of accessing Medicaid benefits while not crossing the fine line of generating too much income as to render them ineligible. They’ve also found themselves in instances where they’ve fallen through the cracks coverage-wise while transitioning from Medicaid to Medicare during long wait periods or where they wish to retain Medicaid coverage as a back up to Medicare coverage. Luckily, a new Medicaid Buy-in Program for Working Adults with Disabilities is on the brink of release and will hopefully provide a solution for these situations.
Beginning in March 1, 2012, working Coloradans ages 16 through 64 who have a disability will be able to apply for the Medicaid Buy-in Program for Working Adults by completing an application through their local regional county office, online at Colorado.gov/PEAK (or call 1-800-221-3943 for information). Accepted applicants will be offered the chance to pay monthly premiums based on their income for Medicaid benefits such as office visits, hospitalizations, x-rays, home health services, durable medical equipment and prescription medications. There is, however, a cap on how much working adults with disabilities may generate in income. Applicants may earn up to 450% of the federal poverty line (roughly $45,009). Income disregards will be applied prior to determining an applicant’s income for the purposes of this program.
To learn more about this program and how it may benefit you please check out this Fact Sheet and, if you have questions, please contact Kimberley Smith with the Colorado Department of Health Care and Financing Policy (303-866-3991/800-659-2656 TTY/TDD).
Note: This blog was written/edited by AdvocacyDenver with resource and editing assistance from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.