Health Care 101
Health: Justice Involved Snapshot
- Justice involved individuals have substantially higher rates of medical, psychiatric and addiction problems as compared to the general public.
- Prior to the Affordable Care Act, the majority of justice involved people – 70 to 90 percent – did not have access to private or public health insurance.
- The majority are now eligible for Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program).
- Research shows that connecting individuals to healthcare and treatment services within the first two weeks post-release are critical as it is a vulnerable time for justice involved individuals. Homelessness, high stress, and an increased risk of overdose are prevalent during this timeframe. Access to health and behavioral health care services can help.
- Eligibility depends on status in the criminal justice system. Learn more about eligibility.
Affordable Care Act (ACA) Overview
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expands coverage to nearly everyone
- A person can’t be refused coverage for a pre-existing health condition
- It’s possible for a person to remain on a parent’s plan until age 26
- Health First Colorado extends medical assistance to age 26 for former foster care youth who were in Colorado foster care at ages 18-21 and enrolled in Health First Colorado
- Women can’t be charged higher health insurance premiums than men
- Free preventative coverage is provided
- Mental health and substance use parity or mental health and substance use benefits coverage that is comparable to general medical coverage
- Under the ACA, both Health First Colorado and private health plans offered through the Marketplace must provide 10 essential health benefits
Health First Colorado and Connect for Health Colorado (Marketplace) Overview
Colorado’s health insurance marketplace, Connect For Health Colorado, offers shopping for health insurance plans and also allows people to find out if they qualify for Colorado’s Health First Colorado or the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) programs, or if they qualify for subsidies to help cover the cost of insurance.
Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program)
- Public health insurance program for low-income individuals
- Administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF)
- Can enroll anytime
- Estimated 2/3 of justice involved population will be eligible for Health First Colorado