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29 Mar 2012

Colorado Debt Relief Watch: Legislation Aims to Reduce Medical Bill Stress

As our Colorado debt-relief attorneys discussed in an earlier post to the Swift Law blog, whether a Colorado family has health insurance coverage or not, the ever-increasing cost of medical care continues to bankrupt families across the state and nationwide. In 2007 alone, crushing medical bill debt was tied to more than 60 percent of all personal bankruptcy filings in the United States.

With that said, the Colorado legislature is hoping to change this grim statistic. The Denver Business Journal reports that Senate Bill 134, also known as the "hospital charity-care bill", recently passed the Colorado Senate with an overwhelming majority vote of 28-6.

Bill sponsor, Sen. Irene Aguilar (D-Denver) -- who is also a practicing medical doctor -- told 

Key points of  include:
~ requiring hospitals to provide patients with clear and accessible information about their charity, financial aid, payment plan, and cash discount programs,
~ directing that hospitals turn to collection agencies only after all other options of medical bill debt collection have been exhausted, and
~ prohibiting hospitals from billing patients more than the lowest cost they bill insurance companies for the same procedure.

According to Colorado Public News, Colorado hospitals currently charge uninsured accounts nearly 400 percent of costs on average while a private insurer -- thanks to group bargaining -- is being billed at closer to 100-150 percent of costs for the same services.

Southern Colorado debt-relief lawyers with the Law Office of Stephen H. Swift understand that even hard-working Colorado families can find themselves overwhelmed by unmanageable (and often unexpected) medical bill debts.

Contact us today for more information and to schedule a free consultation

Stephen H. Swift

Managing Attorney
Law Office of Stephen H. Swift, P.C.

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