Colorado to Reduce Medicaid After Underestimating Impact of Expansion
Written by Bob Herman
August 31, 2011
The state of Colorado plans to scale back its Medicaid program just two years after lawmakers expanded it, according to a Denver Post report.
According to the report, lawmakers passed healthcare legislation in 2009 that allowed the state to impose a fee on hospitals while using the additional matching federal money to expand Medicaid coverage. The legislation was expected to produce roughly $1.2 billion for the programs and help cover childless adults who have historically been ineligible for Medicaid.
The original estimates showed the Medicaid program would cost $197.4 million per year for 49,200 adults without dependents currently living at or below the federal poverty level in Colorado. However, recent studies showed there are an estimated 143,000 eligible people, and covering all of those individuals would cost roughly $1.75 billion.
The report said Colorado’s Department of Health Care Policy and Financing now plans to reduce eligibility to only 10 percent of the poverty level, which only covers childless adults who earn less than $91 per month. Estimated costs would still be around $770 million.
Because of this, the department will also cap the number of childless adults covered by Medicaid to 10,000, resulting in a first-come, first-serve basis with others being put on a waiting list, the report said.