Taking Action

Care and Coverage for Low-income People

October 30, 2013

  REGIONS: Colorado 

Kaiser Permanente Colorado creates and supports programs that lower numerous barriers so the uninsured and under-insured can gain access to the care we provide. We accomplish this through:

  • Charitable care
  • Charitable coverage
  • Enrollment in subsidized programs such as Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).

Charitable Care

Improving health care access for those with limited incomes and resources is fundamental to Kaiser Permanente’s mission.  Our Medical Financial Assistance program (MFA) helps low-income, uninsured, and underserved patients receive access to care.  The program provides temporary financial assistance or free care to patients who receive health care services from our providers, regardless of whether they have health coverage or are uninsured.

Through our charity care program, Kaiser Permanente is committed to:

  • offering financial counseling to determine if a patient is eligible for public assistance or Kaiser Permanente financial assistance,
  • providing free or extremely low-cost care to low-income people for medically necessary services provided at our facilities and through our providers, and
  • not taking legal action for nonpayment of medical bills against any person who is unemployed and without other significant income.

Who’s Eligible for Medical Financial Assistance?

  • Eligibility is based on financial need. In general, people whose household income is at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for the MFA program. Families or individuals with higher incomes may qualify on a case-by-case basis.
  • Patients who have experienced a catastrophic event may be eligible under special circumstances, regardless of household income.

Please note:  The MFA program is not a form of health insurance and cannot be used to subsidize premiums. Read our Medical Financial Assistance Policy.

How do I know if my income level meets the guidelines for Medical Financial Assistance?

View the federal poverty guideline charts.  To calculate income level at 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, multiply by 3, and so on.

Please note:  For uninsured patients, charges for medically necessary care are limited to no more than the Medicare reimbursement rates.

If you are in need of medical financial assistance, you may apply directly for Kaiser Permanente’s MFA program.

Charitable Coverage ― Colorado Bridge Program

The Colorado Bridge Program is designed to help those who are uninsured and income eligible, pay for the Gold 0/20 Kaiser Permanente Individuals and Families plan. Benefits include reduced rates for up to 24 months (prior to December 31, 2015), with an opportunity to renew. Monthly premiums are based on family size and income with no cost sharing (copayments, coinsurance, and deductible) for services at Kaiser Permanente medical offices. The coverage includes preventive and specialty service, hospitalization, and pharmacy benefits.

Who is eligible:

  • Applicants must live within the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado service area based on county zip code
  • Applicants under the age of 35 years
  • Applicants must be income eligible
  • Applicants cannot have access to other coverage options such as, but not limited to the following:
    • Employer-sponsored health plan
    • Medicaid/Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)
    • Federal financial assistance through the marketplace
    • Medicare

    For more information click here or download a brochure/application.

Charitable Coverage ― Government Programs

Kaiser Permanente participates in publicly subsidized programs such as Medicaid and CHP+ in order to make our quality care accessible to more people in our communities, and serve vulnerable populations.

Medicaid is a statewide, government subsidized insurance program covering low-income and disabled adults and children. The program is for individuals with little to no income, or a disability that affects their ability to work.

Child Health Plan Plus is a statewide, government-subsidized insurance program covering low-income children who don’t qualify for Medicaid, and whose families cannot afford private coverage.

Kaiser Permanente is committed to serving as a leader in public policy for improving the delivery of care for the underserved, and to represent the health interests of all our community members.

Our practice of evidence-based medicine and expertise in preventive care and disease management will serve to improve the delivery of care in our communities and influence the management of our public programs.

If you need health care for yourself or your family, there are options you can afford.  Please visit Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s web resource, Find Your Plan, to get more information.