Today, Governor Hickenlooper signed the Hospital Payment Assistance Program (SB12-134) into law. This law will enable Coloradans to pay their hospital bills in a reasonable and responsible way and provide Coloradans information about hospital financial assistance programs. That is why we are celebrating today. But, we did not get this bill signed into law alone! Thanks to your support and the leadership of the bill’s sponsors, Senator Irene Aguilar and Representative Cindy Acree, this law will offer relief to many Coloradans.
Colorado’s uninsured are often charged much more than people with insurance because they don’t have the bargaining power. Many of these bills get sent to collections. As a result, many Coloradans face bad credit and bankruptcies. All of us should be able to get the care we need when we need it without unpredictable costs. The Hospital Payment Assistance Program Act will help alleviate these problems by:
- Requiring that hospitals make information about hospital financial assistance programs available to all consumers where they will see them – online, in hospitals and in hospital bills;
- Requiring that low-income, uninsured Coloradans pay no more than the lowest negotiated health plan pay for that service; and
- Requiring hospitals to work with low-income uninsured Coloradans to set up reasonable payment plans before sending them to collections.
This law will help Coloradans by providing us the information we need to make informed health care decisions.