For a state with a reputation as the "leanest" and "most active" in the country, the answer to that question may surprise you. Colorado's overall health grades haven't improved since 2006 when the Colorado Health Foundation issued its first Report Card. Most of the 2010 grades remain unchanged from the previous year. Only the grade for Healthy Aging (which evaluates how Colorado's older adults compare with peers in other states) improved from the previous year, moving from a B+ to an A-.
The 2010 Report Card includes 38 health indicators, divided into five life stages spanning the life course. Each of this year's indicators can be viewed on this site under their respective life stages – Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Children, Healthy Adolescents, Healthy Adults and Healthy Aging.
Fortunately, there's hope for many of Colorado's shortcomings in health care. National health care reform may provide relief for some of the indicators where Colorado is lagging behind the rest of the country. In recent years, the state has performed poorly in insurance coverage, prenatal care, access to preventive oral health care and childhood obesity.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains several provisions to increase health insurance coverage among children — especially low-income children. Beginning in 2014, a health insurance exchange will help individuals purchase qualified health plans and provide federal subsidies for low- to middle-income families. Statewide, Colorado is expanding eligibility for Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level. Details about reform and other policy initiatives can be found in "Health at a Crossroads," a special supplement of the Report Card.