Maui Business

HMSA Requests Affordable Care Act Rate Increase

June 2, 2015, 3:37 PM HST
* Updated June 2, 3:40 PM
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hmsaBy Maui Now Staff

The Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association has requested that the state approve a rate increase for premiums for its individual Affordable Care Act health plans for next year.

The average increase will be 49.1 percent–the highest rate request increase HMSA, the state’s largest health insurer, has ever made.

State Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito responded today to HMSA’s request.

“This is the highest premium increase ever requested by HMSA,” Ito said in a statement released today. The requested increase… “will be closely scrutinized,” he said.

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“The Insurance Division will actively seek reductions to the proposed request, where possible, to ensure fairness to all parties involved.

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“If medical expenditures paid out for healthcare services under the ACA individual plan are too high, the division’s ability to drastically reduce this requested increase will be limited.”

“Our decision to ask for this premium increase was truly difficult,” HMSA President and CEO Michael Gold said in a letter released Monday. “We explored every alternative for a smaller premium, but ultimately had to ask for this increase for several important reasons.”

“We’ve learned many of these members are using substantially more medical services and prescription drugs than we expected,” Gold said. “Now we have a much clearer understanding of the true cost of caring for these members.”

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Gold said the increase will affect about 3% of HMSA’s members.

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