For low-income Coloradans including undocumented people!
Colorado’s Reproductive Health Care Program is now effective! Individuals without documentation can now receive free birth control through our state’s Medicaid program.
Did you know that the Reproductive Health Care Program (SB 9) went into effect on July 1st, 2022?
This program will:
- Provide FDA-approved birth control to individuals that earn low wages and would otherwise qualify for Health First Colorado (Medicaid) if not for their immigration status.
- Require that all Health First Colorado enrollees who want a year supply of birth control are able to receive it.
And there’s no more going back to the doctor’s office and the pharmacy every 1-3 months just to refill your birth control!
Why did we bring the Reproductive Health Care Program (SB 9) to the legislature in 2021?
Being able to decide when and if to have a child, and accessing ways to prevent or end a pregnancy in a safe and dignified manner are two of the core tenants of Reproductive Justice. Contraceptive use helps people realize their own reproductive goals which, in turn, helps them achieve their educational, employment, and financial ambitions.
Immigration status should not determine who has access to care. By staying true to our values and messaging, SB 9 was successful in creating the infrastructure that allows undocumented people to receive services through Medicaid which will hopefully be built upon in future legislative sessions. COLOR is proud to advance legislation that addresses obstacles to care that people of color and low-income communities need to manage their health and live with dignity — and this is just the beginning!
The Story of the Reproductive Health Care Program
When we originally introduced SB 9, we thought it was a long shot and would take three- to five-years to pass. With the pandemic and rumors of a slim budget, we intended to use 2021 to educate the community, legislators, and others on contraception as healthcare and the intersections with racial justice, economic justice and immigrant rights.
Instead, the meaningful relationships with legislators held by our Policy Director and lobby team helped catapult our bill to the top priority for the Democratic Women’s Caucus, Latino Caucus and Colorado Senate Democrats. Additionally, strong connections with partner organizations helped us anchor SB 9 in the healthcare space, rather than being confined to just reproductive health or immigrant rights.
What does the program do exactly?
The Reproductive Health Care program works within Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) to provide contraception to individuals that earn low wages and would otherwise qualify for Medicaid if not for their immigration status. The bill also requires that all Health First Colorado enrollees who want a 12-month supply of contraception can receive it. No more going back to the doctor’s office and the pharmacy every 1-3 months just to refill your birth control!