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Human Services

Emergency Medicaid

Health First Colorado

Emergency Medicaid is short term coverage for immigrants without legal permanent residency or Naturalization status. Emergency Health First Colorado only covers life and limb-threatening situations and does not cover doctor appointments or routine care.

If you have additional questions, please call the Douglas County Department of Human Services at (303) 688-4825.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

You can apply for Health First Colorado at the hospital when you receive emergency treatment, after being discharged, or after care received in the past three months.

If you’re pregnant and seeking coverage for future labor and delivery services, you can apply ahead of time for coverage. You can apply before you go into labor, during or after labor and delivery. You can also apply while at the hospital or after being discharged. Assisters at the hospital can help you.

While all applicants for Health First Colorado or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) will be asked to provide a social security number, you do not need a social security number to receive emergency services under Emergency Medicaid.

You will need to apply each time you receive emergency care. An application is valid for the full month in which the emergency medical condition occurred.

  • Example: If you receive regular dialysis for End-Stage Renal Disease, you will need to reapply for Emergency Medicaid coverage every month.

UPDATE: You do not need to submit a written physician statement about your emergency medical condition. This previous requirement was removed. The physician will provide this information.

There are several ways to apply.

Electronically:

By phone:

  • Contact the Health First Colorado Member Contact Center at 1-800-221-3943. For CHP+ Applications, please call Customer Service at 1-800-359-1991. State relay 711. Phone applications can be completed Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 4:00pm.

Paper:

  • Print, complete and sign a paper application and;
    • Mail it to our office at 4400 Castleton Court, Castle Rock, CO 80109
    • Drop it off at our office Monday-Friday between 8:00am and 5:00pm or anytime using the secure drop box in front of our office
    • Fax it to 877-285-8988
    • Email it to [email protected]

Who qualifies for Emergency Medicaid?

To be eligible for Emergency Medicaid, applicants must meet the same eligibility requirements as all other Health First Colorado applicants, except for immigration or citizenship requirements. Applicants also must have a qualifying life- or limb- threatening medical emergency covered by Emergency Medicaid. Health First Colorado recognizes that all situations are unique, so please apply to see if you are eligible.

People who may qualify for Emergency Medicaid include, but are not limited to:

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients
  • Undocumented people (people without legal immigration status)
  • Non-immigrant visa holders such as tourists and students
  • Individuals granted Temporary Protected Status
  • Adult legal permanent residents (‘Green Card’ holders) who have not been in the U.S lawfully for at least five years
    • This does not apply to children and pregnant people who qualify for Medicaid with full benefits

We encourage all uninsured people to apply for Health First Colorado to see if they qualify, even if they are unsure of their immigration status.

Confidentiality Notice: Information you provide on your application is confidential and cannot be shared with any Federal agency including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

What emergencies are covered?

Emergency services include transportation, emergency room services. Laboratory, X-ray and other medical tests may be provided during emergency room visits when ordered by a doctor.

Emergency Medicaid covers medical emergencies that:

  • Place the patient’s health in serious jeopardy;
  • Impair the patient’s bodily functions; or
  • Cause serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Severe symptoms from COVID-19
  • Labor and delivery (does not cover prenatal or postnatal care)
  • Dialysis for End-Stage Renal Disease at an inpatient or freestanding dialysis center
  • Life-threatening symptoms, like chest pains
  • Life-threatening illnesses, like heart attacks
  • Life-threatening accidents
  • Other life-threatening health emergencies

Emergency Medicaid does not cover:

  • Follow-up care after the medical emergency
  • Routine physician appointments
  • Prenatal or postnatal care (any pregnancy related care you may receive before or after a pregnancy)
    • Clients with Emergency Medicaid must arrange payment for prenatal services with their prenatal care provider
  • Care that is not certified by the physician as emergency care

For additional information, please visit the Emergency Medicaid website or call the Customer Contact Center at 1-800-221-3943.

How long does coverage for Emergency Medicaid last?

Each application for emergency medical services is limited to coverage for the life- or limb-threatening medical emergency. If a new medical emergency arises, you will need to submit a new application.