Differences in Health First Colorado and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Co-enrollment across Colorado Counties in 2018Jan 30, 2021
The Farley Health Policy Center conducted a study to assess geographic differences in co-enrollment rates of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Health First Colorado (Medicaid) across Colorado’s 64 counties. The study intended to inform efforts related to increasing SNAP and Health First Colorado co-enrollment. Previous research suggests there are benefits to reducing healthcare cost among individuals who are co-enrolled in these critical safety-net programs. Individuals who receive SNAP are more likely to experience food security and experience better health outcomes. The Farley Health Policy Center linked SNAP participation and Health First Colorado member eligibility data to identify monthly co-enrollment rates in calendar year 2018. We compared predicted probabilities to actual rates of co-enrollment across 64 counties and identified counties with low/exceedingly low-, as expected, high/exceedingly high co-enrollment rates. There were substantial regional differences in co-enrollment rates across Colorado probably due to regional and county-level differences in approaches to SNAP outreach and application assistance. An examination of counties practices with exceedingly high co-enrollment may reveal strategies to increase co-enrollment across the state and improve the health and well-being of Coloradans.