More than 1,300 Routt residents at risk of losing Medicaid if they don’t take action |

More than 1,300 Routt residents at risk of losing Medicaid if they don’t take action

More than 1,300 people in Routt County will need to renew their Medicaid coverage or change their health insurance starting in May.

“Approximately 700 households will see an adjustment. That could mean loss of Medicaid or could be a change in program,” said Jennifer Dorr, Routt County Department of Human Services economic security supervisor. “It could also mean a recipient is now eligible for tax credits to help pay for their private insurance if they are no longer eligible for Medicaid.”

Medicaid in Colorado, known as Health First Colorado, did not drop any participants for three years during the pandemic public health emergency, said Kim Bimestefer, executive director of Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, during a recent informational webinar.

“So, what’s different is people could lose their coverage for the first time in three years if they don’t act on the renewal process,” Bimestefer said.

“We want people to be prepared, to think and plan ahead,” said Marc Williams, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing public information officer.

Williams said that from March 2020 to March 2023, the number of Medicaid recipients in Routt County increased by almost 46% and in Moffat County by 44%. In that three-year timeframe, Medicaid enrollment in Moffat County increased from 3,381 to 4,890 individuals and in Routt County from 2,912 to 4,248.

Raeann Kohpay, integrated practice and eligibility services manager for Northwest Colorado Health, which serves many Medicaid clients, said the enrollment changes are “going to have a really huge impact on our community.”

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“A lot of what we saw in Moffat and Routt counties during the pandemic were patients approved for emergency Medicaid coverage maintain that coverage even after it should have ended after one year,” Kohpay said. “The end of May, I do foresee we are going to be seeing more the effects of the end of continuous coverage. There has been a lack of communication for three years, and people have not had to do anything to re-enroll in Medicaid.”

In addition to clients aging out to Medicare at 65 or no longer qualifying for Medicaid income limits, Kohpay said some former Medicaid clients are now receiving discounted private health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado and find it beneficial.

“A lot of providers in our area don’t accept Medicaid especially when it comes to dental,” Kohpay said.

Statewide, the Medicaid roster grew by 41% between March 2020 and March 2023 adding more than 500,000 people, many of whom lost their jobs during the pandemic and thus employer-sponsored health insurance, Bimestefer said. Colorado currently has 1.78 million people signed up for Medicaid or the Child Health Plan Plus, which is public low-cost health insurance for certain children and pregnant women. That equates to one in four Coloradans, she said.

Steps to maintain health insurance coverage

State officials for Medicaid in Colorado, known as Health First Colorado, stress key steps to maintain health insurance coverage.

  1. Medicaid recipients need to go to the state website to verify or update their address and contact information, or turn in updated information through their county Department of Human Services.
  2. 60 days before the recipient’s annual enrollment date for Medicaid, watch for a renewal packet in the mail or through email if people opted in for electronic notifications in their Peak inbox.
  3. Re-enroll in Medicaid or find new health insurance. For in-person help, visit the county Department of Human Services.
  4. Individuals or families losing Medicaid or without health insurance through work can shop for new coverage through Connect for Health Colorado at, the online network site where people can compare and apply for financial assistance for health insurance.

“The best course of action for Medicaid recipients is to make sure our office has their current income and contact info,” said Dorr, by logging into their PEAK account at “If they have experienced a change in pay, employer or household composition, those changes could potentially impact their eligibility.”

State officials estimate 80% of recipients will be able re-enroll in Medicaid, but 20% will need to find other health insurance because they have aged into the Medicare, now make too much money for Medicaid or have an employer who offers health insurance coverage.

Recipients who have submitted accurate contact information should receive a notice 60 days in advance, so the first people to be impacted received notifications in March. Bimestefer said an estimated 325,000 people statewide will need to find new insurance from May 2023 through April 2024 staggered across the 12 months based on their original enrollment month.

As of April 2023, the income eligibility limits for Medicaid in Colorado are up to $19,392 per year for an individual and up to $39,900 per year for a family of four, according to, which provides overview information.

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