House gives preliminary approval to Reps. Jodeh’s bill to protect the lowest income Coloradans from predatory medical debt collection and help them obtain necessary emergency medical care
DENVER, CO– The House today advanced Rep. Iman Jodeh’s bill to take several steps to help low income and uninsured Coloradans access the emergency health care they need. The bill passed on second reading.
“No Coloradan should go bankrupt because of the cost of medical care,” said Rep. Iman Jodeh, D-Aurora. “15 percent of all Coloradans and 1 in 4 Coloradans from communities of color are struggling with medical debt in collections, which can have devastating long-term impacts on the financial well-being of a family. We can’t accept the status quo of Black, Brown and low-income families being held back for generations because of crippling medical debt. We need affordable care and greater patient protections in the billing process now.”
HB21-1198 makes several improvements to Colorado’s Hospital Financial Assistance Law to ensure hospitals screen patients for potential financial assistance through a variety of programs, make it more difficult for a patient to be sent to collection actions, and sets an enforceable standard for discounted care. The bill will crack down on predatory billing practices, help low-income Coloradans avoid crippling medical debt, and ensure all patients have access to information about their rights when accessing emergency care.