Coloradans eligible for Medicaid losing health insurance
Colorado ranks 15th in the nation for the highest rate of people losing Medicaid health insurance
In a recent article published by Journal Advocate, Coloradans ranks 15th in the nation for the highest rate of losing Medicaid health insurance after pandemic protections ended. in March 31.
According to state data in July, nearly 70,000 Coloradans affected in losing health insurance, and 50,000 were still eligible. President and CEO of Clinica Family Health, Simon Smith said many are losing health insurance, not because they’re earning too much money to qualify, but for procedural reasons. They didn’t know they needed to re-enroll, or didn’t fill out a form correctly.
Smith said there’s a lot of individuals across Colorado who may be losing health insurance may still be eligible for Medicaid, but are being dis-enrolled because of those processes. Smith added that losing health insurance is quite concerning as many people signed up for Medicaid after they lost their jobs and employer-sponsored coverage, and were automatically re-enrolled during the public health emergency.
Advocates argue most people are now back at work, and stopping auto renewals that cause them losing health insurance will save taxpayer dollars by bringing enrollment back to pre-pandemic levels. Coloradans can apply for or keep their health coverage at HealthFirstColorado.com. People losing health insurance tend to avoid appointments to save money, and many put off seeking care until their condition becomes crucial and they end up in the emergency room.
Smith said that as people losing health insurance rates rise, and uncompensated care rises, other insurance carrier’s rates go up. There’s a systemic impact associated with people losing health insurance. Clinica which serves all patients regardless of their ability to pay has already lost $500,000, and is set to lose $2 million this year compared to revenues before Coloradans started losing health insurance from Medicaid.
Smith said those people who are losing health insurance, combined with rising costs, makes it harder for community health centers that primarily serve Medicaid patients and the uninsured to keep their doors open. If the balance of revenues and the balance of insured patients losing health insurance, it has real impacts for community health centers’ ability to continue to provide services.