To the delight of Plaintiff personal-injury attorneys, at the end of the 2021 legislative session, Colorado Senators passed House Bill 21-1300, an Act that protects Coloradans who have been injured by wrongful or negligent acts of another.
In particular, the Act aims to protect those citizens who have high-deductible health insurance plans, limited health insurance, or no health insurance and who need medical treatment as a result of an accident. Simply put – the Act protects those who are injured in the state of Colorado by actions of another, and who cannot afford to pay the resulting medical bills and/or medical deductibles out-of-pocket.
Often, with the help of an attorney, injured plaintiffs secure medical liens to pay their medical bills, liens either from health-care providers or from financing companies associated with health providers. In short, medical liens enable the injured individual to seek health treatment without paying the costs up-front—because the lien pays those costs. Usually, the health providers and lien companies who hold the liens wait until the case settles before collecting financial reimbursement for the injured person’s medical costs.
While medical liens have been a staple of personal injury lawsuits for decades, the 2021 Colorado Act puts additional protections in place for plaintiffs who use health-care provider (or associated finance company) liens to pay medical costs that are associated with injuries caused by the wrongful or negligent acts of another.
Some of the 2021 law’s new protections include:
- prohibiting a medical lien from being introduced as medical payment evidence in court by defendants or insurance companies;
- forbidding lien holders to charge finance charges and/or interest;
- prohibiting the holder of the health-care lien from making the injured person liable for any monies owed (in cases where the plaintiff does not receive a settlement, or receives a settlement that will not cover the full amount of the medical lien); and
- making it illegal for health care providers and lien holders to submit liens to a collection agency.
The Act was signed by Governor Jared Polis on July 7, 2021 and will become Colorado law 90 days after that date, on October 5, 2021.
The personal injury attorneys at Sears & Associates, P.C. are available for consultations about your accident, injuries, health care costs, and medical liens. Please call us at 719-471-1984 if you are seeking legal advice relating to injuries you suffered due to the wrongful or negligent acts of another.