Health Care 101

young woman

Promote health for clients and reduce risk

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

10 Essential Health Benefits

  1. Ambulatory patient services
  2. Emergency Services
  3. Hospitalization
  4. Maternity/newborn care
  5. Mental health/substance abuse
  6. Prescription drugs
  7. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  8. Laboratory services
  9. Preventive and wellness care/chronic disease management
  10. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

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)

Connect for Health Colorado (Marketplace)

Learn More

  • Review our Glossary of Terms

    We’ve provided a list of health and criminal justice-related terms to help individuals learn more about both systems.

  • Read our FAQs

    We’ve compiled health and criminal justice-related questions and answers to help individuals better serve justice involved people.

  • Resources for Agencies

    Information for criminal justice and health agencies to assist their clients with better access to care.

  • Get connected to other professionals using The Take Care - Health Matters Professional Guide

    The Take Care – Health Matters Professional Guide provides county level health-related and criminal justice-related information to help individuals in these fields build relationships and assist clients with better access to care. The purpose of this guide is to connect Colorado criminal justice agencies, health care professionals and community organizations so that they may assist justice involved individuals who qualify for Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program).

    Take Care-Health Matter Professional Guide screenshot

  • View our training presentation - Affordable Care Act: Health Coverage for Justice Involved Individuals

    Our training for criminal justice and health care professionals includes extensive information related to:

    – Health First Colorado & Connect for Health Colorado Marketplace
    – Eligibility of Justice Involved Individuals
    – Health First Colorado Structure: Accessing Physical & Behavioral Health Care Services

    Download presentation slides [PDF]