What You Need To Know About Medicaid

Mar 25, 2020 9:09:42 AM / by Julie Drake

When people come to the front desk at Providence Recovery for the first time, we give them several papers to fill out and ask, "What type of insurance do you have?" Frequently people will say, "I don't have insurance," not realizing that Medicaid is a type of health insurance. 

Which health insurance do you trust? My health insurance carrier is Colorado Medicaid. Medicaid is a very important piece of your recovery from addiction. It allows you to focus on the treatment and recovery process without worrying about having money to pay for it. 

In Colorado, Medicaid is called Health First Colorado. Medicaid is known as public insurance.  It can help pay for many services, but the leading service is health-related care, including Substance Use Disorder medications, counseling and recovery.  

Find out more about Medicaid and additional insurance inquiries below. 


Did you know that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law legislation for Medicaid in 1965? Yes, indeed, that's when it started. Medicaid coverage is for low-income families and individuals, including children, parents, pregnant women, seniors and people with disabilities.

Although the federal government pays a portion of the costs, Medicaid is administered and operated by states, and each state's program is a little different depending on the needs and goals of that state.healthcare

In Colorado, Medicaid is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF). You may hear people refer to this department as “Hick-puff” because they are pronouncing the abbreviation, HCPF as if it is a word.  

How To Apply

Not sure if you qualify? There are several ways to apply for Medicaid. If you have lots of questions about Medicaid or if you are new to Colorado, we recommend that you go to your county Department of Human Services office and apply in person. This will allow you to ask questions, and make sure that information is input into the application correctly to limit delays and problems.

There are also ways you can apply over the phone or online, and your county office can tell you how and when to use these features.  

When applying, you will need to prove your identification and a social security number is needed. This provides proof of identity. 

After you are enrolled, the income numbers you provide for the application will be verified by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Just a tip -It is good practice to bring pay stubs and income documents with you when you apply for Medicaid. If there are errors in the application or more information is needed, your application will be delayed.  


You should not be embarrassed that you have Medicaid insurance. It provides good health coverage and it was designed to make sure that people can get the care they need to stay healthy.

Providence Recovery Services is one of the few comprehensive outpatient addiction treatment facilities that take Medicaid in Colorado. 

Find your insurance card and give a call to Providence to schedule your intake appointment today: 970-824-5433

Tags: Medicaid

Julie Drake

Written by Julie Drake

Outreach director OTR (registered occupational therapist) Hometown: Yampa, Colorado. 1992 Bachelors of Science in occupational therapy from Colorado State University, 2006 Masters of Science in Health Services Administration from Regis University Julie has worked in wide variety of healthcare settings as an OT including special education school programs, home healthcare, inpatient acute rehab, long term care rehab, hand clinic, oral health program director and most recently as a county public health director. Professional interests include understanding the agrarian cultural impact on health, faith community and health intersects, substance use disorder education and stigma reduction.