Expect about 510,000 Coloradans to become newly insured by 2016 under regulations included in the Affordable Care Act, the federal health reform law (that is, if the Supreme Court upholds its provisions). This means that about one of every 10 Coloradans will gain a health insurance card.
Colorado’s newly insured will be a diverse bunch. About 130,000 will be low-income residents who become eligible for health insurance with the expansion of eligibility rules for the federal-state Medicaid program to include adults up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (effectively 138 percent FPL under Medicaid calculations). The other 380,000 will be required to purchase private insurance, some with government financial assistance, or pay a penalty (the law’s individual mandate).
The 2011 Colorado Household Access Survey (CHAS) paints a portrait of Colorado’s uninsured community today: About 58 percent are in the lowest-income bracket, between 0 percent and 133 percent (FPL); about 56 percent are male; the greatest majority (nearly 39 percent) are between 19 and 34; and 58 percent are white, followed by 33 percent Hispanic.
This graph shows the poverty level of Colorado’s uninsured population. Source: 2011 Colorado Health Access Survey