More than a third of privately-insured Coloradans found themselves on the wrong end of an unexpected – and occasionally quite large – medical bill in 2018, according to a study commissioned by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.

The study found 34% of privately-insured Colorado adults “reported receiving a medical bill that included an unexpected expense.”

Read the study here. 

It also suggested few Coloradans who receive a surprise medical bill are willing to fight it. Just 18% of those who received a surprise bill took more than one step to resolve the unexpected bill. 65% ended up paying the full amount of the bill. “Coloradans have spoken, and our legislators need to listen,” said CCHI Director of Strategic Engagement Adam Fox in a news release.

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“[This study] provides valuable information for policy leaders and decision makers as they work to improve healthcare costs, accessibility and quality in both rural areas and the Denver metro area,” Fox added.

CCHI is pushing legislation in 2019 to prohibit medical providers from sending so-called balance bills to their patients. Similar legislation has failed to make it out of committee for the last four years.