Community Health Insurance / Community Health Access

This initiaitve has been on hold pending the implementation of the Affordable Care Act

Strategic Planning and Analysis

1) Community Health Symposium

This event would be designed to raise awareness of health insurance issues, offer provocative solutions, and issue a call to action at the local regional level. This  event will include speakers on innovative efforts  to provide affordable health insurance at the local and state level (i.e., Maine’s efforts, etc.)

Potential Topics:

  • Health care myth and reality
  • State and regional health insurance efforts
  • Colorado tools and strategies for providing health insurance
  • The role of local regional innovation
  • Barriers and challenges to health care innovation

2) Community Health Insurance Survey

County Public Health Agencies in our region are currently conducting health needs assessments to evaluate and focus their services.  Although these are worthwhile efforts and will offer additional information on the state of health services in our region, they are limited in both the questions they ask and the population they survey.

A Regional Health Insurance Survey would compliment the public health data by focusing more on health insurance issues of the entire regional population (not just people using public health services) by using a more random survey methodology (something like what the Health District of Northern Larimer County does).

The point of the survey would be to get a better understanding of the public and private insurance issues in our region as well as individual data on insurance rates (individuals, families, children), insurance costs, means of insurance, as well as questions probing potential trade offs people might be willing to make in order to cover more people and make changes to the current health insurance system.

The survey data would ground our understanding of issues as well as be the common ground for ongoing dialogue.

3) Health Leadership Roundtable

Use the symposium to kick–off the creation of a Health Leadership Roundtable that will take the survey data, ideas from the symposium and recommendations  from other health policy folks – such as the Colorado Health Institute and others across the country – and create an implementation strategy or plan (A Community Health Access Plan) for health care and coverage improvement in the Roaring Fork Valley (and beyond as appropriate).

In addition to its own dialogue, the Roundtable would engage the local professionals, elected officials, and citizens in their work, findings, and recommendations (by issuing reports, proposals, and hosting additional workshops).  The policy debate would be grounded in the realities of the Roaring Fork Valley.  The leadership roundtable would be charged with:

  • Researching key elements of a model for expanded health coverage;
  • Disseminating a series of research papers, solicit input, and achieve consensus among local stakeholders related to design features (e.g. financing strategies, benefits design, and service delivery mechanisms), scale and scope of the demonstration project; and,
  • Developing a full implementation plan (Phase 3)

Community Health Access Plan

Recommendations and Implemtnation Plan . . .


This effort to assess potential improvements to health care and insurance issues in our region, grew out of discussions between Garfield and Pitkin County Commissioners and their concerns about the rising costs of health insurance for county employees as well as general the lack of coverage for many families that live and work in the region.

The focus of the research conducted for this assessment was guided by the following questions:

  • Why are people and communities concerned about healthcare and health insurance?
  • What can a community do to reduce/manage insurance costs, increase health insurance availability and enrollment, and provide health insurance to all residents who need it?

This assessment is an initial look at the potential for a more comprehensive approach to health insurance and health care in our region and steps our region could take to make such potential a reality.  It is not an exhaustive examination of the issue.

Full Assessment (2004)

Download a PDF version of the assessment.

Selected Health Care &
Insurance Readings

Selected Resources



American Journal of Public Health

Health Affairs


American Association of Patients and

Colorado Coalition for the Medically

Health Care for All Oregon

Universal Health Care Action Network

The New Rules

The New America

National Association of Counties

National Coalition on Health Care

Roaring Fork Community Health Plan

Physicians for National Health Program

Colorado Health Institute

Colorado Rural Health Center

The Colorado Trust

The Rose Community Foundation

Caring for Colorado Foundation

Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing


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