Glossary: CO

Health coverage offered by your employer that:

  • Would cost you, for your policy alone, less than 9.5% of your income for the monthly premium, and
  • Meets bronze-level standards.

If you have an option that meets these standards, you and your family cannot qualify for government subsidies to get private insurance on Connect for Health Colorado. If your income is low enough, you may still qualify for Health First Colorado (Medicaid).

A trained expert who can help you understand benefit programs. The planner you should contact depends on your situation and the benefits you get.

Find a Benefits Planner in your area.

Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) is Colorado's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It provides health coverage for qualifying Colorado residents who are 18 years old or younger or are pregnant, have limited family income, and are not eligible for Health First Colorado (Medicaid) health coverage.

Learn more about CHP+.

Social Security benefits for adults who:

  • Became disabled before turning 22, and
  • Have a parent who died or who gets retirement or SSDI benefits.

Formerly known as "Disabled Adult Child" (DAC) benefits.

Colorado Works is Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (sometimes called "welfare-to-work"). It provides cash assistance to low income families with children, and also helps with job training and finding employment.

Get more details in DB101's Colorado Works article.

An agency ruling that your disability meets the standards set by the Social Security Administration's definition of disability. Your disability must be reviewed and determined to match the SSA definition before you can get certain public benefits. If you're on SSI, SSDI, or any Colorado disability benefits program, you've already been determined disabled.

Free Health First Colorado (Medicaid) is Health First Colorado (Medicaid) coverage that has no monthly premium or a low monthly premium.

To apply for Health First Colorado (Medicaid), apply online or contact your county human services department.

Health First Colorado (Medicaid) is Colorado's Medicaid program. Health First Colorado (Medicaid) is a state-run health care program that pays medical expenses for people who are disabled, young, elderly, poor, or pregnant. If you meet program requirements, Health First Colorado (Medicaid) will help pay for a variety of medical services including visits to the doctor, hospital stays, medical equipment, home care services, and prescription drugs.

You can apply for Health First Colorado (Medicaid) online.

The Health First Colorado (Medicaid) Buy-In Program for Children with Disabilities (called the "Children's Buy-In" for short) is a public health coverage program for children with disabilities under the age of 19 whose families have too much in income or resources to otherwise qualify for Health First Colorado (Medicaid).

Families may have to pay a monthly premium for the Children's Buy-In, with the amount based on the family's income. The most a family might pay is $120 per month.

Get more information about the Children's Buy-In.

Note: The Children's Buy-In is different than Health First Colorado Buy-In Program For Working Adults With Disabilities (Medicaid Adult Buy-In). For the Medicaid Adult Buy-In, you must have paid work and be 16 or older.

The Medicaid Adult Buy-In program (sometimes called WAwD for short) provides health coverage to working people with disabilities in Colorado ages 16 or older who are not otherwise eligible for Health First Colorado (Medicaid). It has a much higher income limit than Health First Colorado (Medicaid) usually has, has no resource limit, and lets you get the same coverage as regular Health First Colorado (Medicaid). Depending on your income, you may have to pay a premium of up to $200 per month.

For Medicaid Adult Buy-In, you must have countable income at or below $5,099 per month for individuals. Almost all of your unearned income is counted, but less than half of your earned income is counted. That means, you could earn as much as $10,278 per month and still qualify!

Get more details in DB101's Medicaid Adult Buy-In article.

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver programs offer extra services beyond what's usually covered by Health First Colorado (Medicaid). They are for people who get Health First Colorado (Medicaid) and need those extra services so that they can live in the community.

Not all people with disabilities qualify for an HCBS Waiver program; each program serves a different target population and has its own eligibility rules. Some Waivers also have waiting lists to get benefits.

These are the HCBS Waiver programs for adults with disabilities in Colorado:

Get more details about adult and children's waivers in DB101's HCBS Waiver Programs article.

Medicaid is national program that pays medical expenses for people who are disabled, young, elderly, or poor. Medicaid is run by state agencies and in Colorado, Medicaid is called "Health First Colorado."

If you meet program requirements, Health First Colorado (Medicaid) will help pay for a variety of medical services including visits to the doctor, hospital stays, medical equipment, home care services, and prescription drugs.

To apply for Health First Colorado (Medicaid), apply online or contact your county human services department.

Medicare Savings Programs are programs that help people with low income and low resources pay for their Medicare expenses, such as Medicare Part A and B premiums, coinsurance, and deductibles. There are four Medicare Savings Programs:

  • The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program helps people with countable income that’s 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) or less ($1,133 per month or less if you live alone). QMB helps pay for your Part B premium, copayments, and deductibles. Note: If you have disability-based or SSI-linked Health First Colorado (Medicaid) coverage, you automatically qualify for QMB.
  • The Specified Low-Income Beneficiary (SLMB) program helps people with countable income that’s more than 100% of FPG, but at or below 120% of FPG ($1,360 per month or less if you live alone). SLMB helps pay for the Part B premium, but does not help with anything else.
  • The Qualified Individual-1 program, also called QI-1, helps people with countable income that’s more than 120% of FPG, but at or below 135% of FPG ($1,529 per month or less if you live alone). QI-1 helps pay for the Part B premium, but does not help with anything else.
  • The Qualified Disabled Working Individual (QDWI) program helps people who have lost their SSDI benefits because they earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level ($1,350 per month), but have countable income that’s 200% of FPG or less ($2,265 per month or less if you live alone). It lets you stay on Medicare Part A even though you don’t get SSDI anymore and it will pay for the Part A premium that would otherwise apply.

For MSPs, less than half of your earned income is counted. That means you might qualify even if you think your income is over the limits.

The resource limit for QMB, SLMB, and QI-1 is $9,900 if you live alone and $15,600 if you live with someone else. For QDWI, it’s $4,000 if you live alone and $6,000 if you live with another person.

Learn more about MSPs.

A Medicare supplement (also called Medigap) is a policy sold by a private insurance company that helps pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

You have to pay a premium for a Medicare supplement policy to a private insurance company. This is in addition to any other premiums you pay for Medicare Part B or Part D. For any health care costs covered by Medicare Part A and Part B, Medicare pays its share first and then your Medicare Supplement pays its share.

Medicare supplement plans do not cover prescription drugs, and most do not include long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing.

Note: It is illegal for anyone to sell you a Medicare supplement policy if you have a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan or if you do not have Original Medicare.

Learn more about Medigap policies.

A group of specialists at the Social Security Administration (SSA) who review, monitor, and approve Plans to Achieve Self-Support (PASS). They can also help you as you write your plan.

To contact the Littleton, Colorado PASS Cadre (serving all of Colorado), call 1-888-824-4384, ext. 29911.

Agencies to which you need to report any changes in your income or living situation, if you get public benefits.

If you're on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY), or visit your local Social Security office, and ask what's the best way for you to report. Note: Reporting rules for SSI and SSDI are different and if you get both benefits, you must report income for them separately.

If you're on Health First Colorado (Medicaid) or any other state program, like Colorado Works or SNAP, contact your local county human services department.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, is a federally funded program that helps people with low income buy food.

Get more details in DB101's SNAP article.