Health First Colorado Expands Substance Use Disorder Benefits

Full continuum of substance use disorder care to begin January 1


December 31, 2020

Media Contact
Marc Williams
720-626-0801 (c)

Denver, CO – The Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Department) is expanding substance use disorder coverage for Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) members. This expanded coverage will provide members greater assistance on their road to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, and in accordance with HB 18-1136, the Department will add inpatient and residential components, including withdrawal management, to the continuum of outpatient substance use disorder services currently available. With these additions, the full continuum of care will be covered for eligible members. 

“Our Department provides physical and behavioral health coverage to about 1 in 4 Coloradans. Expanding substance use disorder benefits to encompass the full continuum of services is a significant step forward in treating substance use disorder and responding to the increased overall demands for behavioral health services,” said Kim Bimestefer, executive director for the Department. “We want all the Coloradans we serve to receive appropriate, person-centered support that helps them recover from addiction and get their lives back.” 

Health First Colorado members seeking treatment for a substance use disorder should contact their health care provider or Regional Organization for more information about treatment options. More information for providers and members is also available on the Department website.

About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program), Child Health Plan Plus, and other programs for Coloradans who qualify. For more information about the Department, please visit