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Coloradans Taking Advantage of Coverage Assistance at Record Rates

A bright spot of news for these dark winter days: Colorado is chipping away at the percentage of residents who remain uninsured even though they are eligible for the Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) public insurance programs.

The state’s eligible but not enrolled (EBNE) rate for Medicaid and CHP+ fell four percentage points to 17 percent in 2014 from 21 percent in 2012, according to a new analysis by the Colorado Health Institute.

Among kids, the drop was even larger, to just five percent from 11 percent.

This is no small accomplishment. The ACA increased the number of Coloradans eligible for public coverage by 58 percent. But enrollment grew even faster, increasing by 68 percent.

For the first time, CHI’s EBNE analysis also calculates the number of Coloradans who were eligible for the advanced premium tax credit (APTC), an income-based subsidy for those purchasing private coverage on the exchange, yet remained uninsured.

Finally, the analysis debuts a new methodology for estimating how many of the uninsured were undocumented immigrants.

Of the 559,000 Coloradans who were uninsured in 2014, CHI estimates that 371,000 were eligible for assistance in obtaining coverage – 189,000 through Medicaid or CHP+ and 182,000 through the tax credits. This eligible but not enrolled (EBNE) population accounted for 68 percent of the state’s remaining uninsured. Another 20 percent were undocumented immigrants.

This leaves just 61,000 uninsured Coloradans who weren’t eligible for any sort of coverage assistance, all with annual incomes of more than four times the federal poverty level, above the cut-offs for both public insurance and tax credits.

Curious how things look in your county? Want to learn more about what the EBNE population looks like? Check out the detailed data tables accompanying the main report on CHI’s website.