Colorado Consumer Health Initiative

A nonprofit organization

$22,704 raised by 98 donors

76% complete

$30,000 Goal

Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) is a consumer oriented, membership based, 501c3 health advocacy organization that utilizes consumer voices to improve access to equitable, affordable and quality health care. At the state level, we work in conjunction with state leaders and regulatory agencies to advance policies that combat racial disparities and income inequity to improve health equity for communities that face structural barriers to receiving care. At the individual level, our Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) team works directly with consumers who have difficulty navigating the health care system, and assists with issues that many Coloradans face today. Our Consumer Assistance Program has helped over 2,000 individuals fight back against unfair medical billing practices by providers, insurers who deny paying for the care they need, and has helped consumers find resources to cover their health care costs. Since 2018, our CAP team has saved our clients over $6.5 million in medical bills and prescription drug costs!

Our team works tirelessly to ensure consumers get the health insurance and care that they need, at a reasonable cost. Here is one client’s story out of thousands we have served.

Amelia* is a 76 year old woman living in Colorado whose first language is not English. She sought out a free consultation at an alternate medical practice in the summer of 2021 to see if they could treat her chronic pain, where she was given a stack of paperwork in English to fill out with no assistance. Amelia expressed to staffers at the medical practice that she did not understand the paperwork that was given to her, not only because it was in English but because she didn’t know what the paperwork was for, and was left with an explanation in a language that she couldn’t understand. As a result, she felt pressured to sign the documents so that she could receive the care that she desperately needed, and unknowingly signed up for a medical credit card. 

After CCHI helped pass the Colorado Option with provisions on culturally responsive care, the need for providers and their staff to understand the communities that they serve is evident.

The medical provider did not check Amelia’s medical history, and could not directly ascertain whether or not she had received steroid treatment for her chronic pain in the past due to language barriers. Despite these barriers to giving care, the provider administered medication that could be potentially harmful when taken with steroids. Amelia left the clinic in worse pain than she walked in with, and expressed feeling disoriented and unable to walk upon leaving. When she made it home, she called her usual clinic only to find out she had received a steroid treatment during her last appointment with them. After being mistreated by the alternate medical provider, Amelia and her family reached out to their team to dispute the medical bills, ask that the $4,000 in charges be removed from her account, and to have the medical credit card account closed. They ignored her request. 

After reaching out to CCHI, Emerald, the CAP Coordinator at the time, jumped right in and helped her write a dispute letter. The dispute letter was initially dismissed by the medical credit card company, and they explained that several disputes had been investigated and closed based on the documents that Amelia had signed at the alternate medical practice. Our CAP team demanded that they reconsider their decision since Amelia speaks little English and had no understanding of the documents she signed, she couldn’t properly consent to the treatment or charges. With the support of CCHI, Amelia finally received notice from the medical credit card company that the balance of $4,000 had been written off.

Many Coloradans face unfair medical billing practices, mistreatment from providers, and are often left to live with medical debt that they cannot possibly pay off. While our CAP team has relieved the burden of medical debt for Amelia and for hundreds of clients, we alone cannot reach every Coloradan that receives a balance bill, or struggles with medical debt.

When you invest in CCHI, you are investing in an organization full of patient advocates who are working directly with clients, and at the state level to pass legislation for families and individuals who are commonly left out or ignored by a system that doesn’t work for them. When others are out shopping this holiday season, consider buying someone the gift of medical debt relief, patient advocacy and literacy, or advocacy at the state level. We cannot achieve health care equity or affordability without supporters like you.

*Name has been changed to protect the identity of our client.

Giving Activity


CCHI advances the consumer voice to improve access to health care for all Coloradans by working statewide for progress toward equity, affordability and quality.

Background Statement

CCHI was created in 2000 to be a counterweight to powerful health care interests by building a cohesive consumer voice among health advocacy organizations and their constituents.

Health is fundamental to a person's overall well-being and ability to lead a productive life. However, a complex and inequitable health care system erects barriers that impede Coloradans' ability to achieve good health and can also jeopardize their financial security. These barriers arise through laws and regulations, health insurance, at the point of accessing health care services, or in the community.

CCHI works to:

Provide consumer assistance to resolve problems with health insurance, negotiate and appeal medical bills, find cheaper prescription drugs and protect consumers health and financial security from unfair practices in health care.

Develop and mobilize support for policy proposals to control health industry costs, improve access, affordability and move Colorado toward universal health care.

Engage underrepresented communities in Colorado to advocate for increased health equity.

And, we need you! To get our emails, sign up for free at, or to get involved, become a member at:!

Organization Data


Organization name

Colorado Consumer Health Initiative

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy


303 E. 17th Ave Ste 400
Denver, CO 80203

Service areas

Denver County, CO, US





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