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Fort Lewis Student Health Center accredited by Colorado Medicaid

College estimates about a third of the students would qualify for Medicaid
Students signed for Medicaid will be able to receive health care at the student health center at no cost (courtesy of Hart Ven Denburg/CPR News)

The Fort Lewis College Student Health Center became accredited as Colorado Medicaid provider this week.

This means that students who have signed up for Medicaid will not have any out-of-pocket costs for health care when visiting the center.

“We want our students to be able to focus on being a student, and this is one more step toward eliminating barriers some of our students face,” said dean of Student Engagement Jeff Dupont in a news release. “Being able to take Medicaid at our Student Health Center ensures all of our students can access the health care they need.”

While many students will often be covered by a parent’s health insurance plan during their college experience, some students may have parents who don’t have insurance or are nontraditional students past the age of 26.

FLC Basic Needs Coordinator Stella Zhu has been working with AXIS and the La Plata County Public Health Department to provide students with health care navigators to help them sign up for Medicaid. She said the process is simple and allows qualifying students to get off their parents’ health insurance.

A survey conducted by The Century Foundation in 2020 found that about 13% of U.S. college students were enrolled on Medicaid. According to Health first Colorado, a single person is eligible for Medicaid if they make under $1,616 per month.

The college’s administration believes a third of the college’s 3,400 students would qualify for Medicaid.

Free mental health services provided by the college’s student health center will not be impacted by accreditation.

“It’s all about accessibility,” FLC Student Health Center director Rene Klotz said, adding the accreditation process is arduous and required the College to implement electronic medical records for students. “This change will help our students access insurance-covered health care on campus and will also help out-of-state students on Medicaid temporarily transfer their coverage seamlessly to Colorado.”


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