Access to Health Care


The good news:  Colorado’s insurance rate is 93.5%, according to the latest data (2017) from the Colorado Health Institute.  While the uninsured rate is 6.5%, it has remained relatively flat over the past few years.

Additionally, the median wait time is two days for a doctor’s appointment and nine days for a specialist appointment – both below wait times in other parts of the nation. And the rate of people who said they couldn’t see a doctor as soon as they needed fell to 15.7% in 2017 after spiking to 18.7% in 2015.

The challenges:  Coloradans are often covered by health plans with high deductibles, creating cost barriers to accessing care. And communities across the state continue to face problems beyond the reach of coverage expansion, such as workforce shortages and transportation challenges.

Additionally, urban Front Range counties have better access to health care than rural areas. Quality care and health insurance coverage are often more expensive in rural areas, where there are fewer doctors to perform the work and fewer patients to spread the cost. Additionally, those areas often cannot support multiple insurance carriers. For instance, only one insurance carrier offers health care plans in 14 rural Colorado counties.

Graphic showing the challenges to hospitals