Colorado’s Medicaid numbers are rising more slowly than expected, but state is on guard for a late surge |

Colorado’s Medicaid numbers are rising more slowly than expected, but state is on guard for a late surge

Enrollment in government health insurance program tends to rise during economic downturns

DENVER — Colorado’s Medicaid numbers aren’t surging as fast as predicted amid COVID-fueled joblessness, but the program’s administrators aren’t relaxing yet, since federal decisions and the economy’s unpredictable trajectory could still force them to come up with additional funding.

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing had estimated about 500,000 people in the state could enroll in Medicaid by December. The Colorado Health Institute had estimated the number of new members could be closer to 563,000, which would mean about one-third of the state’s residents would be covered by Medicaid.

So far, the increase has been more modest, but it’s difficult to predict the trajectory only one month into the fiscal year, said Kim Bimestefer, HCPF’s executive director. The number of people enrolled in Medicaid in Colorado increased by about 100,000 from February to mid-August, topping 1.3 million.

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