(May 2) – A bipartisan bill to address the out-of-control practice of sending consumers out-of-network bills, sponsored by Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, and Rep. Marc Catlin, R-Montrose, is heading to the Governor’s desk.
“As a legislator, my job is to find a way to ensure Coloradans aren’t dealing with these surprise medical bills through no fault of their own,” said Rep. Esgar, D-Pueblo. “We are responding to the concerns of families, individuals and seniors who have been hit by these surprise–and often expensive–bills. We think this is a strong bipartisan solution to this problem.”
HB19-1174 prohibits out-of-network billing by providers when the patient unknowingly received the care from an out-of-network provider or facility. It also requires providers to inform consumers of their rights regarding bills sent to them by out-of-network providers. The bill does not prohibit patients from incurring out-of-network costs when they intentionally go out-of-network for their care but puts safeguards in place to prevent unexpected medical bills in these situations.
Out-of-network bills can be more than 30 times the average in-network rate. Fifty-seven percent of patients who encountered out-of-network bills paid the bills in full because they didn’t know of their right to fight these bills.
This legislation is meant to help control costs in out-of-network billing situations by setting a reasonable rate of payment for these providers and facilities.
The House re-approved the bipartisan bill on a vote of 54-9. The bill passed out of the Senate with a vote of 31-4.
The bill also has bipartisan sponsorship in the Senate with Sen. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, and Sen. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, serving as Senate sponsors