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The Colorado Health Access Survey

Colorado's Best Source of Insight and Information About Health, Coverage, Care

The Colorado Health Access Survey – the CHAS – is the premier source of information on health coverage, access to health care, and the factors that influence health in Colorado. 

More than 10,000 households in the state have participated every other year since 2009, allowing comparisons across a time marked by sweeping changes in health policy. Recent surveys have expanded to cover factors closely tied to health, including housing, food access, and experiences of discrimination. The survey provides a credible source of information about key trends and challenges facing Coloradans that is not available through any other source.

Colorado’s Essential Health Survey

The CHAS plays a central role in efforts to improve health for everyone in Colorado. In the past decade, the survey has measured the effects of the Affordable Care Act and identified work left to do to improve access to health care. More recently, it has examined social factors such as housing, food access, and discrimination in health care. The 2021 survey looks at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey's large sample size allows for statistically significant samples in urban and rural areas and by age, race, and income.

Policymakers, state agencies and local governments use the CHAS to measure access to care in Medicaid and to identify needs in behavioral health. Health systems and providers use it to help understand access to care in the areas they serve. Community-based organizations rely on CHAS data to evaluate local needs and inform their strategic plans and programs. Researchers and journalists use it to track the impact of policy shifts and gain insight into the state’s evolving health needs.

How to Use the Survey

The survey is conducted every other year, and results are released in the fall of the survey year. CHI publishes the survey data in several formats:

  • A summary report with graphics and high-level analysis
  • Spreadsheets with data on all survey questions broken out by demographics.
  • Two-page regional profiles
  • A research file for academic inquiry. 

Data from the CHAS are available to anyone who is interested. We invite researchers and other interested parties to use our research file or to reach out with requests for information and data. Contact chas@coloradohealthinstitute.org.

Now Available

Navigating Uncharted Waters: The Pandemic, Health, Coverage, and Care in Colorado

The 2021 CHAS reveals how Coloradans fared during the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of Colorado households shared their experiences between February and July, allowing for a detailed look at mental health, changes in coverage, the effects of job loss, and the rise of telehealth. 

Read the report.

Navigating Uncharted Waters - The Pandemic, Health, Coverage, and Care in Colorado

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Survey History

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Colorado Health Access Survey 2021

Navigating Uncharted Waters: The Pandemic, Health, Coverage, and Care in Colorado

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2019 Colorado Health Access Survey: Progress in Peril

Colorado has made great strides in improving access to health care for its residents. But moving into the 2020s, that progress is in peril.

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2017 Colorado Health Access Survey: The New Normal

Colorado maintains its historic level of health coverage despite political uncertainty and rising insurance premiums.

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Colorado Health Access Survey 2015

A look at the effects of historic changes in health access in the wake of state and federal reforms.

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Colorado Health Access Survey 2013

A crucial look at health coverage and access a year before implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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Colorado Health Access Survey 2011

The second survey in the series and the first to bear the Colorado Health Access Survey name.

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Colorado Health Access Survey 2009

The inaugural large-sample survey of health coverage and access in Colorado.


The Colorado Health Access Survey was initiated by The Colorado Trust. It is designed and fielded by the Colorado Health Institute. The 2021 survey is made possible by an investment from the Colorado Health Foundation.

Colorado Health Institute and Colorado Health Foundation logos


Additional Sponsors:

Logos for Community First Foundation, UCLA Health Policy Center, Department of Health Care Policy and FInancing, Colorado Springs Health Foundation, Delta Dental, Latino Community Foundation, Office of Behavioral Health, Rocky Mountain Health Foundation

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