Hospital Payment Assistance Program
The “Hospital Payment Assistance Program” (SB12-134), which becomes law August 8, 2012, will help working families who cannot afford insurance to responsibly pay their hospital bills.
Uninsured patients, who do not have the bargaining power of large insurance companies or public programs, are charged much higher prices for hospital care than those with insurance. Public programs and private insurers negotiate lower prices with hospitals. Uninsured patients are the only group that pays the full listed prices for hospital care. These higher prices are a significant hardship for working families that already struggle to afford medical care, forcing many patients to go into debt, or even declare bankruptcy.
The “Hospital Payment Assistance Program” addresses this issue by creating increased transparency standards regarding hospital discount policies, regulating debt collection practices, and limiting the price that can be charged to uninsured patients below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. These measures gives working families important information about hospital discount policies and charity care and a chance to responsibly pay their medical bills.
Click here to read the bill.