FAQ – Justice Involved

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New to Health First Colorado? Find answers & get the help you need to access care

You’ve got questions, we have answers. To use the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below, you can choose to view all topics, or specific topics like eligibility, find a doctor, halfway house, marketplace, Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program), mental health, newly insured or private insurance.

Need help?

Contact the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition by calling 303-825-0122 or email us.

What is Health First Colorado?

Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) is low cost health insurance for Coloradans who qualify. Health First Colorado can help pay for doctor visits, dental care, and drug and mental health treatment.

You can find more information about applying for and using Health First Colorado by visiting the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing website.

Who is able to get Health First Colorado?

Being able to get Health First Colorado depends on the amount of money you make and the number of people you claim on your taxes.  For example, an individual can make about $1350/month or less and be able to get Health First Colorado.  A married couple with two children can make about $2,800/month. If someone is considered an “inmate” they are not eligible for Health First Colorado.

You can find more information about applying for and using Health First Colorado by visiting the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing website.

How do I apply for Health First Colorado?

There are a lot of people and places you can contact to help you find out if you are able to apply for Health First Colorado. You can contact your local county Department of Human Services, which can also talk with you about other help like food and cash assistance. You can also call your local medical assistance/application assistance sites or Health Coverage Guides to schedule an appointment. People can also apply for Health First Colorado online by visiting the Colorado PEAK website.

You can find more information about applying for and using Health First Colorado by visiting the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing website.

What if someone makes too much money to get Health First Colorado?

If you make too much money to be able to get Health First Colorado, you might be able to get help to buy private health insurance on Connect for Health Colorado. Connect for Health Colorado is Colorado’s health insurance marketplace.

How do I find a doctor that takes Health First Colorado?

Health First Colorado members are assigned a primary care provider, which is the doctor that you see the most. Your primary care provider will belong to one of seven regional organizations. You will want to make sure you are connected with your regional organization. Your regional organization will hook you up with what is called a “care coordinator.” This person will be able to help you find a behavioral health therapist, set up an appointment and get you plugged in to other services you may need. You can call Health First Colorado Enrollment at 303-839-2120 or 1-888-367-6557 (toll free) to find out who your regional organization is if you don’t know. Health First Colorado Enrollment can also help you change who your primary care provider is. You can also call your regional organization directly for more information.

I was on Health First Colorado, but had to go back to jail. Will I still have Health First Colorado once I’m released?

Most likely you will have to reapply. If you are only incarcerated for a few days, you will probably still have Health First Colorado when you are released. If you are incarcerated for more than 30 days, you should check with your local county department of human services once you are released to make sure you are still covered. Don’t be surprised if you need to reapply.

I was given a Health First Colorado card when I left prison. I’m not sure what to do with it.

That’s fantastic! The first step in getting health care is getting enrolled and a card. Now that you have health insurance, we want to make sure you know all the benefits that you can use such as seeing a doctor, going to a dentist, or getting drug treatment. The following information will help you get started:

  1. Make sure you are connected with your regional organization. You are automatically plugged into a regional organization based on who your primary care provider is. A primary care provider is the doctor that you see the most. Health First Colorado members will all have a primary care provider who belongs to a regional organization. Your regional organization can hook you up with what’s called a “care coordinator.” This person will be able to help you find a behavioral health therapist, set up an appointment and get you plugged in to other services you may need. If you don’t know who your regional organization is, you can call Health First Colorado Enrollment at 303-839-2120 or 1-888-367-6557 (toll free). You can also call your regional organization directly for more information.
  2. If you want to find a primary care provider or mental health provider on your own, you can go to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing website to Find a Provider near you. You can also go to the Office of Behavioral Health Find a Service Provider tool.

I was just released from jail and think I need health insurance. Who should I contact to see what I can get?

There are a lot of people and places you can contact who will help you find out if you are able to get on Health First Colorado.

I need mental health or drug treatment services. How do I find help?

If you have health insurance through a private health insurance plan, please contact your health plan and they can help you find a mental health or drug treatment provider.

If you on Health First Colorado and need to see a therapist or counselor for drug or mental health treatment, you can call your regional organization and they will also help you find a behavioral health provider and get you set up with an appointment.

If you want to find a mental health provider on your own, you can go to the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing website to Find a Provider near you. You can also go to the Office of Behavioral Health Find a Service Provider tool.

Are people living in a halfway house able to get Health First Colorado?

  • Yes. As long as a person meets the income requirement, people on residential or non-residential status in Community Corrections facilities in Colorado, except for people living in Gateway: Through the Rockies in Colorado Springs, are eligible for Health First Colorado.
  • People living in federal residential reentry centers (RRCs) are not eligible for Health First Colorado per federal policy. People who live in federal RRCs should have their health care services covered by the Bureau of Prisons.

I’m on probation, am I able to get Health First Colorado?

Yes. People on probation are able to get Health First Colorado if they don’t make too much money.

There are a lot of people and places you can contact to help you find out if you are able to apply for Health First Colorado. You can contact your local county Department of Human Services, which can also talk with you about other help like food and cash assistance. You can also call your local medical assistance/application assistance sites or Health Coverage Guides to schedule an appointment. People can also apply for Health First Colorado online by visiting the Colorado PEAK website.

You can find more information about applying for and using Health First Colorado by visiting the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing website.

I’m on parole, can I get Health First Colorado?

Yes. People on parole are able to get Health First Colorado if they don’t make too much money.

There are a lot of people and places you can contact to help you find out if you are able to apply for Health First Colorado. You can contact your local county Department of Human Services, which can also talk with you about other help like food and cash assistance. You can also call your local medical assistance/application assistance sites or Health Coverage Guides to schedule an appointment. People can also apply for Health First Colorado online by visiting the Colorado PEAK website.

You can find more information about applying for and using Health First Colorado by visiting the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing website.

I’m on bond or diversion, can I get Health First Colorado?

Yes. People on bond or diversion are able to get Health First Colorado if they don’t make too much money.

There are a lot of people and places you can contact to help you find out if you are able to apply for Health First Colorado. You can contact your local county Department of Human Services, which can also talk with you about other help like food and cash assistance. You can also call your local medical assistance/application assistance sites or Health Coverage Guides to schedule an appointment. People can also apply for Health First Colorado online by visiting the Colorado PEAK website.

You can find more information about applying for and using Health First Colorado by visiting the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing website.

I’m in prison or jail, can I get Health First Colorado?

No. People who are in jail or prison are not able to get Health First Colorado. If someone in jail or prison is in the hospital for more than 24 hours, they may be able to get Health First Colorado to pay the hospital bill.

I’m on work release from jail, can I get Health First Colorado?

No. People are still considered “inmates” and not able to get Health First Colorado even though they are allowed to leave jail to go to work.