How healthy do you think you are? Would you say you are in good or poor heath?
Your answer may differ depending on where you live.
More than 90 percent of residents in Jefferson and Douglas counties report good, very good or excellent health. That’s almost 20 percentage points higher than residents of the San Luis Valley, according to the 2015 Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS).
Overall, more than eight of 10 Coloradans (86.8 percent) report they are in good health or better, which tracks closely with previous years.
Regions with the highest percentage of residents reporting good, very good or excellent health are Douglas County (92.6 percent), Jefferson County (90.8 percent), and the mountain resort counties of Grand, Summit, Eagle, Pitkin and Garfield counties (89.1 percent). Weld County comes close to the top three with 88.9 percent of residents reporting to be in good, very good or excellent health.
Three areas of the state have low percentages of people reporting they are in good health. The lowest is the San Luis Valley at 73.9 percent, followed by Pueblo County at 77.2 percent and residents of Northeast Colorado at 77.9 percent.
In addition to geographic disparities, general health status also differs greatly by the type of health insurance a person has. In 2015, only 6.1 percent of Coloradans with employer-sponsored insurance reported having fair or poor health. This compares with 25.9 percent of Medicaid enrollees. Among uninsured Coloradans, 19.1 percent said their health was fair or poor.
Federal and state health reforms are meant to improve population health by extending health insurance to many more people.
Have the reforms worked? It’s too early to tell. Population health is complex and it doesn’t change overnight. It may take years to fully understand whether reforms have made Coloradans and other Americans healthier. Stay tuned for CHAS 2050.