Chronic Care Collaborative

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You May Be Eligible For Lower Energy Rates Through CMEP!

Do I Qualify for the Colorado Medical Exemption Program (CMEP)?

For Current Xcel Energy Customers:

For medical reasons, you may need to use more electricity in the summer months to help manage your health condition. However, if you use more than 606 kilowatt hours of power per month in the summer (June through September) and make 250% or below of the federal poverty level, you are eligible for a reduced summer rate through CMEP.

The deadline to apply is May 1st. Your rates will be reduced from June-September.

The two-page application can be found here.

You must sign and complete the patient form (front page) and have your health care provider sign and complete the Health Care Provider Certification Form (back page).

Fax your completed application to Chronic Care Collaborative at 303-955-7538 or mail to:

CCC-Energy Program
PO Box 461657
Aurora, CO 80015-9998

If you have any questions or need help call 303-993-5056.

 

For Current Black Hills Energy Customers:

Black Hills Energy offers a lower rate year-round if you are below 250% of the federal poverty level and have a medical need.

The deadline to apply is May 1st. The two page application can be found here.

To apply, sign and complete the patient form (front page) and have your health care provider sign and complete the Health Care Provider Certification Form (back page). Black Hills customers must include proof of income.

Fax your completed application to Chronic Care Collaborative at 303-955-7538 or mail to:

CCC-Energy Program
PO Box 461657
Aurora, CO 80015-9998

If you have any questions or need help call 303-993-5056.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What should I do if I need help, have questions, or would like a mailed copy of the application?
    • Call Sabrina at 303-993-5056
  • Can the application be filled out electronically?
    • Yes
  • Which medical conditions qualify?
    • Medical conditions that require higher electric energy usage include life support equipment in your home. Some examples include home dialysis, oxygen and CPAP machines, and electric wheelchairs.
    • Chronic diseases could include multiple sclerosis, lupus, or epilepsy.
    • The prescribed use of medications which keep your body temperature high could also qualify.
    • Any condition your health care provider certifies that you require higher electric usage due to your health status or condition.
  • Will the energy company know my medical condition or income?
    • NO! The Chronic Care Collaborative is a nonprofit which administers the program and certifies you as eligible. Neither energy company has your private information.
  • What is 250% of the federal poverty level?

  • How do rates change for Xcel customers through CMEP?
    • Many customers pay higher electric rates in the summer. They are charged a standard rate for the first 500 kilowatt hours of electricity, and a higher rate for anything over 500 kilowatt hours in one billing period. This tiered rate can make summer bills much higher, largely if power use is over 606 kilowatt hours per month. The Colorado Medical Exemption Program offers those who qualify a single, reduced rate for all electricity used from June through September. The program not only lowers billing rates, but also removes the Tier 2 rate for using more electricity. Standard rates return October 1. For more information, please see the Xcel fact sheet.
  • How do rates change for Black Hills customers through CMEP?
    • Customers enrolled in CMEP will pay a flat rate for electricity. The rate is $0.11094 per kilowatt-hour of electricity used and will be in effect year-round. Participants will continue to pay for all other riders and charges on their Black Hills Energy bill, including the monthly customer charge.
  • Do I need to provide proof of income with my application?
    • Yes for Black Hills Energy. No for Xcel Energy.

Finding Common Ground To Help People Living With Neurodegenerative Diseases

Each Spring, the Chronic Care Collaborative celebrates Chronic Disease Awareness Day at the Colorado State Capitol when people living with chronic conditions are united in their message of how critical improved affordability and access in health care are for our community. It’s an inspiring reminder that while our individual conditions and how they impact us individually are very different, our common goals unify us. It’s also powerful for those who aren’t living with a chronic disease to recognize that at least one in four in Colorado are currently living with a chronic condition. 

At Adira Foundation, we recognize the essential purpose of the CCC; a format for a voice, a place for listening and exchange, and an opportunity to join forces to respond to neurodegenerative diseases like MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, and Huntington’s Disease. Of course, the Chronic Care Collaborative represents other chronic illnesses, yet where Adira and the group unit is among these five disease states.

On a recent visit to Denver, CEO and Founder of Adira Foundation, Greg Smiley met with Chronic Care Collaborative members who are association leaders of the five neurodegenerative disease states listed above. Not surprisingly, we heard an exchange that resonates with all; a desire to see where the trajectory can change for people living with neurodegenerative diseases and for those who care for them. What we learned is the diseases are different, yet there are consistent experiences for the diagnosed person; greater services are needed in home care, long term care planning and advisement, accessibility in transportation, navigating health systems and services supporting livability.

Adira Foundation and Chronic Care Collaborative recognize that a person is never defined by their diagnosis. However people with chronic conditions, especially those with neurodegenerative diseases have unique needs due to their condition, which often change from day-to-day or month-to-month. Adira and the CCC look forward to working together to help tackle some of the big things for our community, like improved collaboration in health care systems, support and resources for caregivers, patient-friendly health care policies, and increased research that benefits all who are living with neurodegenerative diseases.

It is no small effort to organize, and to make known that there are 8 million individuals who are diagnosed in this country with one of these five diseases. By 2030, we expect the number of diagnoses will increase 38% to 11 million. As our baby boomer population advances, we will see an additional increase of those 85 years and over, a group expected to grow from 5.8 million to 18 million by 2050. Given that neurodegenerative diseases are more common in older adults, the desire to have better processes in place is not only necessary, but timely. The Adira Foundation and the CCC see opportunity in a shared voice for people with chronic illnesses and attention to listening to their needs to find ways to benefit individuals and families through like minded approaches and a call to action.

In 2020, Chronic Disease Awareness Day (#ChronicDiseaseCO) was a virtual event for the first time due to COVID-19. A sense of community is always important, but now more than ever while all people, especially those living with chronic conditions are practicing strict social distancing to protect themselves and others. Please help us continue to stay connected via social media and more virtual opportunities to continue to unite, listen, support each other, and spread hope. 

We encourage you to share your personal connection to neurodegenerative diseases on social media and use the hashtag #Heart4ND to help raise awareness and help others. 

To be a part of the conversation and to participate with Adira Foundation in other ways visit http://www.adirafoundation.org, be a part of the #Heart4ND online movement, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. To learn more about the Chronic Care Collaborative’s efforts in Colorado, please visit https://www.chroniccarecollaborative.org/.

By: Marilyn Spinner, Chief Development and External Affairs Officer for Adira Foundation and Sara Froelich, Executive Director of the CCC

Congressional Diabetes Caucus Highlights Need and Ways to Bring Insulin Prices Down

Co-Chairs of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY)  and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) issued the following press release on November 1, 2018:

Washington, DC – The skyrocketing cost of insulin must be brought under control for the sake of millions of Americans who depend on it, and the U.S. government has tools at its disposal to help, the bipartisan Congressional Diabetes Caucus concluded in a report released today.

Caucus co-chairs Tom Reed (R-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) completed the report after an inquiry lasting more than a year involving consultations with patients, health care providers, insulin makers, wholesalers, pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and health insurers.

“We care about the 7.5 million Americans who rely on insulin to manage their blood sugar levels and prevent debilitating complications every day,” Reed and DeGette said. “Many cannot live without it, but countless patients struggle to afford it. As their out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, the current system is unfairly putting insulin out of reach, placing millions of lives at risk.”

The price of insulin has doubled since 2012, after nearly tripling in the previous 10 years. A patient’s out-of-pocket insulin cost can exceed $300 per vial; some regularly use two or more vials per month. Patients have resorted to skipping doses, which can have dangerous, even fatal consequences.

In conducting their inquiry, Reed and DeGette found the insulin drug market is especially complicated due to interconnected issues, marked by an influx of upward price pressures with limited counterbalancing downward market forces.

The insulin market involves drug makers, wholesalers, pharmacies, PBMs and insurers. The drug’s list price is based on factors including manufacturers’ operational expenses, research and development costs, and marketing expenses. From there, the cost is affected by intermediaries in the supply chain and incentives that drive up the price further.

At the same time, relatively few downward market forces exist to keep the price under control: In the United States, insulin is manufactured by only three companies, while three large wholesalers control about 85 percent of the distribution market.

In their report, Reed and DeGette make 11 policy recommendations that include actions to increase the transparency of pricing, foster market competition, modify formulary usage and address patent reform.

The report can be found here.