Colorado: Medicaid expansion enrollment up 35% since COVID hit; total Medicaid up 21%


As I noted recently, I've relaunched my project from last fall to track Medicaid enrollment (both standard and expansion alike) on a monthly basis for every state dating back to the ACA being signed into law.

For total monthly Medicaid enrollment, the official monthly enrollment data is only available dating back to late 2013, and it's only current through November 2020. The Kaiser Family Foundation has also compiled the pre-2014 average enrollment for each state based on the 3rd quarter of 2013. In some states I've been able to find more recent enrollment data for December 2020 or later.

For Medicaid expansion enrollment, I'm using data from's Medicaid Enrollment Data Collected Through MBES reports. These are even more outdated...I can only get official numbers through June 2019 at the moment. Again, in some expansion states I've been able to get more recent enrollment data from state websites and other sources.

Today I'm presenting Colorado, where Medicaid enrollment averaged around 783,000 residents prior to ACA expansion

After Medicaid expansion went into effect starting in January 2014, total enrollment spiked quickly and eventually peaked at a little over 1.4 million Coloradoans before gradually tapering off throughout 2018 - 2019.

As you might imagine, it bottomed out in early 2020 before taking off again once COVID hit: As of April 2021, non-ACA Medicaid is up 16%, ACA expansion is up a whopping 34.7% and overall Medicaid enrollment is up 20.6%, or around 263,000 residents.

Colorado has 5.77 million residents, so 1.54 million is 26.7% of the entire population. Nearly 425,000 of them are covered via ACA expansion, although around 7,000 were already eligible for Medicaid under pre-ACA law. Throw in the ~180,000 enrolled in subsidized exchange plans and that's 598,000 who'd lose coverage almost immediately if the ACA is struck down by the Supreme Court, or 10.5% of the total state population.