GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Colorado’s Hospital Discounted Care law will take effect on Thursday, September 1, 2022, forcing all hospitals to adopt specific actions to reduce hospital fees for low- to moderate-income Coloradans. Patients now have additional rights and safeguards according to House Bill 21-1198, but in order to fully benefit from its advantages, patients need to be made aware of their rights.
All hospitals in Colorado are expected to comply with the following under the Hospital Discounted Care law:
- Screen patients to see if they qualify for help paying their bills
- Inform patients of their rights
- Offer discounts and affordable payment plans on hospital care to patients who qualify based on their income
- Take certain steps before sending an unpaid hospital bill to collections.
The Hospital Discounted Care statute applies to both insured and uninsured patients, however insured people must be aware of how to seek screening for Hospital Discounted Care in order to take advantage of reductions. It is crucial that Coloradans are aware of their new rights in light of this. Everyone who qualifies for discounts, regardless of immigration status.
“These are the protections Coloradans deserve from our hospitals to be able to get the care they need with more reasonable costs,” said Adam Fox, Deputy Director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “This law caps how much low and moderate income Coloradans can be charged, sets clear standards for affordable payment plans, requires hospitals to proactively screen uninsured patients for discounts, and more. This law helps ensure people can get the hospital care they need with more peace of mind.”
“This law is a major step forward for Colorado,” said Julia Char Gilbert, Connelly Policy Advocate at Colorado Center on Law and Policy. “No one should face financial ruin because they or a loved one needed medical care. These patient protections bring us that much closer to achieving that reality in Colorado.”
In order to help patients, understand the new rights granted to them by this statute, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI), Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP), and Vedra Law collaborated to produce an information sheet and handbook. You may find such resources at cohealth.co/hospital discounts.