Unfinished Business: Who are Colorado's Remaining Uninsured?

Have you heard it’s a new day in Colorado? These folks have!

But in the midst of celebrating our state’s record-low 6.7 percent uninsurance rate, it can be easy to forget that this still means that more than 350,000 Coloradans lack health coverage. 

A new analysis by the Colorado Health Institute takes a closer look at the state’s remaining uninsured.

The majority are men, and it will come as no surprise to CHAS readers that most of them are young. In fact, men under 40 make up 40 percent of Colorado’s uninsured adults.

Efforts like the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative’s “Brosurance” ad campaign are working to target this young, male uninsured population.

Perhaps more surprisingly, the majority (73 percent) of uninsured Colorado adults are employed. These uninsured employees usually work for companies with 50 or fewer workers, which do not face penalties for not providing insurance under the ACA. 

Finally, a major goal of the ACA was to weaken the link between poverty and uninsurance. And the percentage of the uninsured who are near poverty (at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level) did drop to 63 percent in 2015 from 70 percent in 2013. But the most financially vulnerable Coloradans are still disproportionately uninsured.

So in a nutshell, what can we say about Colorado’s remaining uninsured? Only that a nutshell won’t do. This is a varied and often surprising population that CHI will continue to track as we enter the Affordable Care Act’s third year.