Medicaid Drives Historic Coverage Gains in Colorado
Colorado’s uninsured rate has plummeted from a recent high of 15.8 percent four years ago to 6.7 percent this year, and the success of the Affordable Care Act in Colorado is almost entirely the result of Medicaid expansion, according to a much anticipated survey from the Colorado Health Institute. The survey found that nearly one in three of the state’s 5.3 million residents now get insurance through Medicaid or other public health insurance programs. New Medicaid recipient Marty Rieger of Lakewood, Colo. stands outside the new clinic where he gets care. In the Colorado county where Rieger lives, a record number of uninsured have received care over the last two years. With nearly 1.3 million Coloradans now on Medicaid, the state has the fourth fastest-growing Medicaid program in the country behind Kentucky, Oregon and Nevada, according to an analysis earlier this year from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The surge of Medicaid recipients in Colorado shattered Gov. John Hickenlooper’s 2013 projection that the state would add about 160,000 new Medicaid clients over 10 years without costing the state budget “a single dollar.” According to the Colorado Health Access Survey, the state has 450,000 more Medicaid recipients in 2015 than in 2013. In states that expand their Medicaid programs under the health law, nearly all low-income Americans with incomes up to 138 percent of poverty ($16,242 per year for an individual in 2015) would qualify. Pregnant women and children in families with higher incomes — up to 260 percent of the federal poverty level or $60,700 for a family of four — can qualify for the Child Health Plan Plus in Colorado.
Source/more: Health News Colorado/KHN
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.