DENVER (KWGN) — Some lawmakers at the Capitol are focusing on making sure all your money isn’t spent on trying to pay off medical bills. A new measure looks to cap the interest rates on your medical debt.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and a group of lawmakers said they want to stop your medical debt from growing. They want to cap interest on medical debt at 3% per year for Coloradans along with other protections through a new Senate bill.
“It’s important to us that consumers are treated fairly. When it comes to medical debt, all too often, that’s not the case,” Weiser said. “It includes hitting the pause button on debt collection during the time when patients may well be appealing the cost of health care they have incurred including potentially surprise bills and yes, we need more transparency. More disclosure as to what consumers are going to owe,” Weiser said.
It’s just one way lawmakers say they are looking to tackle this issue.
“Last year, we passed legislation banning hospitals from pursuing debt collections against patients if the hospital is not in compliance with the federal law that requires them to post prices online,” Senator Lisa Cutter said.
Advocates working closely on medical debt policy said the new measure complements the previous law to reduce those costs.
“This bill sort of builds off that work by thinking about how can we enact additional protections that both help prevent folks from incurring medical debts in the first place as well as how do we enact common sense protections that help reduce harms for those folks who have already incurred medical debt,” Julia Char Gilbert with the Colorado Center on Law and Policy said.
Other bill related to health care costs
A bill looking to keep medical debts off credit reports has recently been introduced as well.
“Common sense protections to reduce harm for people who find themselves in a situation where they have incurred a medical bill they are not able to pay. I think we can all agree that the fact that you got sick or had an injury should not be something that prevents you from accessing an apartment or prevents you from starting that small business that you’ve always wanted to start,” Char Gilbert said.