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Key Issues / Health Coverage and the Uninsured / Meeting the Needs of Colorado's Dual Eligibles

Meeting the Needs of Colorado's Dual Eligibles

November 1, 2006

Within Colorado’s Medicaid population there is a noteworthy eligibility group of low-income elders and adults with disabilities known as “dual eligibles.” These individuals qualify for the federally administered Medicare program as well as the state-administered Medicaid program because of their low-income, age and/or disability status. Colorado’s 73,000 dual eligibles make up 15 percent of the state’s Medicaid enrollees and 15 percent of Medicare beneficiaries.

 In 2003, national spending for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid accounted for 40 percent of all Medicaid spending. Colorado exceeded this threshold, spending 43 percent of the Medicaid budget on this population, roughly $1.2 billion of the total Medicaid budget, or nearly $16,000 per individual enrolled.

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