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First portion of Coloradans could lose health coverage after pandemic protections expire

The state estimates 300,000 people will no longer qualify for Medicaid and will need to find other coverage.

COLORADO, USA — Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans must submit renewal forms to the state for the first time since the pandemic began or risk losing Medicaid coverage, with the first deadline at the end of the month. 

Federal pandemic protections, which expired earlier this year, kept 1.75 million people covered with automatic renewals for Health First Colorado – the state's Medicaid program – and for Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). 

Now, the state says people must complete, sign and return a renewal form to maintain their coverage. If they don't, they will be disenrolled at the end of the month that marks their coverage anniversary.

"That's my biggest fear, is that you lost your coverage because you forgot to submit the packet," said Maria Zubia, who works with health programs at Adelante Community Development. "That is the biggest fear."

For years, Zubia's team has staffed a booth at the Mile High Flea Market to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. Now, she's providing help to people filling out their renewal forms.

"I have a feeling that a lot of people might lose out," she said. "It’s not an easy process for English speakers – much more so for anybody else who doesn’t speak English."

Even if people understand and fill out the renewal forms, the state estimates 300,000 people will not qualify for coverage and will need to find other insurance. 

Zubia's team can help people fill out the forms and point them toward other coverage if they need it. 

"That's why we're here, because we are where people are. This is where many of the families come," she said. 

Other resources are available through the state's benefit site, where participants in the program can update their address information to ensure they receive the critical re-enrollment packets.


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