Emergency Medicaid

Emergency Medicaid provides short-term Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) coverage for eligible people who do not meet immigration or citizenship requirements for Medicaid and need treatment for life-threatening medical emergencies. It is sometimes also called “Emergency Medical Services,” or “EMS.”

Who Qualifies?

To be eligible for Emergency Medicaid, applicants must meet the same eligibility requirements as all other Health First Colorado applicants, except for immigration or citizenship requirements. Applicants also must have a qualifying life- or limb- threatening medical emergency covered by Emergency Medicaid. Health First Colorado recognizes that all situations are unique, so please apply to see if you are eligible.

People who may qualify for Emergency Medicaid include, but are not limited to:

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients
  • Undocumented people (people without legal immigration status)
  • Non-immigrant visa holders such as tourists and students
  • Individuals granted Temporary Protected Status
  • Adult legal permanent residents (‘Green Card’ holders) who have not been in the U.S lawfully for at least five years
    • This does not apply to children and pregnant people who qualify for Medicaid with full benefits

We encourage all uninsured people to apply for Health First Colorado to see if they qualify, even if they are unsure of their immigration status.

Confidentiality Notice: Information you provide on your application is confidential and cannot be shared with any Federal agency including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

What Are the Benefits and Services?

Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) provides benefits for Emergency Medicaid to treat life- or limb- threatening medical emergencies such as:

  • Severe symptoms from COVID-19
  • Labor and delivery (not including prenatal or post-natal care)
  • Dialysis for End-Stage Renal Disease at an inpatient or freestanding dialysis center
  • Other life-threatening health emergencies (such as chest pain, heart attack, etc.

Go to the ‘Frequently asked questions’ tab for a full list.

What Does It Cost?

There are no copays.

Where Can I Get Help with a Medical Emergency?

If you think you are having a medical emergency call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room. Under federal law, all hospitals are required to provide emergency medical care to anyone having a medical emergency, even if they can’t pay for it, and even if they are not a U.S. citizen.


Frequently Asked Questions

For more information contact

The Medicaid Eligibility inbox:  Medicaid.Eligibility@state.co.us