Colorado Health Access Survey Preview

Early Results from Colorado's Largest Survey on Health Access

February 15, 2024

Health insurance coverage in Colorado reached an all-time high in 2023, according to the latest Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS).

The uninsured rate dropped to 4.6% in 2023, after staying at roughly 6.5% since 2015. 

The Colorado Health Institute (CHI) fields the CHAS every other year. The 10,000-household survey has served Colorado since 2009, making it the state’s longest-running and most reliable source of information on health access, health care costs, and the social factors that influence health. 

The 4.6% uninsured rate is the lowest in the survey’s history. The gains in coverage all came through Health First Colorado, the state’s Medicaid program. The state did not disenroll people from Medicaid during the COVID-19 public health emergency due to the federal continuous coverage provision.

CHI also released CHAS findings on three other topics today.

  • Mental health. More than one in four people (26.2%) reported poor mental health in 2023. That’s an all-time high but statistically unchanged from 2021. As mental health worsened, so did access to care. Some 880,000 Coloradans, or 17.0%, said they could not get the mental health care they needed in 2023, most often because they could not get an appointment.
  • Climate change. Nearly 2 million Coloradans said climate change had an impact on their or their family’s health in the past year. The most common effects this group cited were respiratory trouble (39.4%) and increased problems with mental health or substance use (19.8%).
  • Housing instability. In 2023, 7.1% of Coloradans worried they would not have a place to live in the next two months. The rate was up from 5.5% in 2021, and it represents 390,000 Coloradans who worried about having a place to live in 2023. Renters were eight times as likely to report housing instability as homeowners. Increasing housing instability is likely a consequence of the end of pandemic-related aid to renters and protections against eviction. 

More CHAS Data Coming Soon

CHI will release full results from the 2023 CHAS in February. The survey includes long-running questions on topics such as health care affordability and barriers to care. It also includes new questions on medical gaslighting, Long COVID, access to reproductive health care, and others. Data and analysis on those questions will not be ready for release until February.