On February 1, 2019, a bill to exempt garnishment for medical debt in Colorado was indefinitely postponed by a 7-4 vote of Colorado General Assembly’s House Finance Committee.
The bill, HB19-1089, was originally introduced in the House Finance Committee by Rep. Kerry Tipper on January 14, 2019. It would have prohibited the garnishment of wages for judgments on medical debt for “earnings of an individual whose family income does not exceed four hundred percent of the current federal poverty guidelines, adjusted for family size.” It would have taken effect January 1, 2020.
According to a previous bi-annual report on Colorado’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (CFDCPA) from July 2018, medical debt was mentioned but in a different context. According to the report, medical debt was discussed at the meeting in January 23, 2018. In that meeting, a discussion was held on potential violations of the CFDCPA in the collection of medical debt, especially where such debts are referred to a collection agency before a final determination has been made by an insurance company regarding which medical expenses will be covered.