Colorado Medicaid Adds Doula Services as a Benefit

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New benefit aims to improve maternal health equity and outcomes for pregnant people and parenting populations


July 1, 2024

Media Contact
Marc Williams
Public Information Officer
720-626-0801 (Cell)

Denver, CO - The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) today added coverage for doula services for pregnant Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) members. Doulas are non-clinical trained professionals who can provide emotional, physical, and informational support and guidance before, during and after childbirth. The new benefit enhances access to care for Health First Colorado members, aims to improve birth-related outcomes, and helps close health disparities. Health First Colorado covers 40% of births in Colorado.

“There is a wealth of research that shows doula support can help reduce epidural use, labor duration, low-birthweight and premature deliveries, and postpartum depression rates. There’s also evidence doula support leads to reduced c-section rates, which is higher in the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) population and contributes to morbidity and mortality,” said Adela Flores-Brennan, HCPF’s Medicaid director. “Adding this benefit extends our commitment to providing Health First Colorado members with equitable, accessible, and supportive services for an empowering birthing experience.”  

Health First Colorado will cover services provided by doulas practicing independently, doulas working in health care facilities, and doula group practices. HCPF is actively enrolling doulas to support this new benefit. Interested doulas can apply to enroll as a Health First Colorado provider to participate and get paid for providing services to members. Doulas can enroll if they get formal training or have demonstrated experience working as a doula.

“We are thrilled to bring doulas into the Health First Colorado provider community,” said Susanna Snyder, HCPF’s child and family health division director. “Doulas complement a pregnant person’s medical care team by encouraging open communication that honors a person’s goals for emotional and physical care before, during, and after birth.”

HCPF is committed to providing Coloradans with maternal health resources. In June 2022, HCPF extended postpartum health coverage from 60 days to a full year following pregnancy for Health First Colorado and Child Health Plan Plus members.

About the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing: The Department administers Health First Colorado (Colorado's Medicaid program), Child Health Plan Plus, and other programs for Coloradans who qualify. These health care programs now cover about one in four Coloradans. For more information about the Department, please visit