You lucky dogs in Hawaii (unless you are a small business owner I suppose)! You are the only state that requires employer to offer health insurance coverage to employees. Additionally, employers are required to pay half of the premium. The minimum hours worked to be eligible are only 20 hours per week.
Moreover, Hawaii has mandated that there be no pre-existing condition exclusions for groups, and under federal law, no plan can discriminate for health status. HIPAA-eligible individuals are guaranteed coverage by the state with any individual Hawaii health insurance company that they choose, which predated the Affordable Care Act allowing every Hawaiian to obtain individual coverage.
For those residents of Hawaii that are self-employed are unemployed, Hawaii health insurance companies are not allowed to decline you for individual coverage. Another option are the self-employed one man groups, as Hawaii also mandates that the Hawaii health insurance companies accept one man groups for coverage, which of course eliminates the need for a state risk pool.
Under health reform, Hawaii has expanded its Medicaid program and opened a state-run health insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses. Through the marketplace, called Hawaii Health Connector, many individuals are eligible for reduced-cost private health plans.
QUEST Plans – Hawaii Medicaid
The Hawaii QUEST program is a Medicaid managed care program that provides comprehensive medical and behavioral health benefits for eligible Hawaii residents. Dental services are available through the Medicaid Fee-For-Service Program.
Hawaii QUEST is designed to provide:
Stabilizing costs, and
Transforming the way health care is provided to QUEST members.
If you are eligible for Hawaii QUEST, you will be asked to choose a medical plan. HMSA is one of several medical plans chosen by the state through a competitive bidding process to serve QUEST recipients on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii and Kauai.
For more information, call HMSA at 948-6486 or 1 (800) 440-0640 toll-free.
Hawaii Health Insurance Companies
The two main companies offering health insurance coverage in Hawaii are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Hawaii (HMSA) or the Hawaii Medical Service Association and Kaiser Permanente who also offers a guarantee issue individual health insurance plan.
Whats truly amazing is that Kaiser Permanente is so inexpensive in Hawaii with the premium for a 34 year old male for perfect coverage (meaning 0 deductible and 0 copays) is only $143! That same plan in another state would cost around $500! Additionally, this plan is offered with very basic underwriting so virtually anyone can apply for it. Indeed if the current health reform bill is to end up looking like any health care system, Hawaii would be the state to emulate.
The Hawaii health insurance plans from HMSA or Blue Cross Blue Shield of Hawaii are truly outstanding as well. (I only wish I could get it on myself!)
HMSA offers a variety of affordable, quality health plans to meet your individual needs. They include our Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans, which are available through employers.
If you’re not eligible for group coverage and are looking for a health plan on your own, HMSA has individual plans for sole proprietors, full-time students, and children. HMSA also offers medical and drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries and coverage under the state’s QUEST program for eligible Hawaii residents.