HMSA Expands COVID-19 Support with More Financial Relief for Businesses

July 14, 2020, 7:48 PM HST · Updated July 15, 10:46 AM
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New HMSA center in Kahului, Maui. PC: HMSA

The Hawai’i Medical Service Association (HMSA) is offering more financial relief to local businesses in the form of a one-month 15 percent premium credit. The credit will be reflected in September bills for all commercial fully insured groups. This is the latest in close to $45 million in COVID-19-related relief and support that HMSA has offered its members, businesses, and providers.

In addition to the premium credit, HMSA has recently expanded its financial relief for groups by offering a two-month delay for 2020 rate increases, as well as narrower 2021 rate adjustments to promote affordability and stability.

On the member side, HMSA has extended cost-sharing waivers through the end of the year for COVID-19 treatments and services, medically necessary diagnostic testing for COVID-19, telehealth visits, and pre-operative COVID-19 testing.

HMSA will also waive cost-sharing for all PCP and specialist office visits and urgent care visits for HMSA Medicare Advantage plans and temporarily pay administrative fees for vaccinations for providers participating in HMSA’s primary care payment model.

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, HMSA has supported its members, businesses, and providers by:

  • Continuing to provide coverage while offering flexible payment options for members and businesses facing financial difficulties.
  • Increasing access to needed care while keeping members safe by waiving cost-sharing for telehealth visits, adding over 200 PCPs to HMSA Online Care®, and allowing early refills of prescription maintenance medications.
  • Waiving cost-sharing for all COVID-19 treatments and services, including diagnostic visits leading to a COVID-19 test.
  • Waiving prior authorizations for diagnostic tests and services for members if they’re diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Working with businesses that may have employees losing employment or health care coverage to provide support and help transition them to other health plans.
  • Working with providers to ensure patients continue to have access to care.
  • Offering a primary care payment model that created stable revenue for primary care providers while allowing them to deliver needed care while also keeping themselves and their patients safe.
  • Expanding the range of services covered by telehealth.
  • Partnering with the Hawaii Department of Education to fund a health hotline offering guidance and telehealth visits.
  • Providing additional quality dollars to community health centers.
  • Paying for members’ pre-operative COVID-19 tests to ensure members and providers remain safe.

Working with the state’s COVID-19 Public Health Recovery Task Force, HMSA also helped lead efforts to develop a roadmap for reopening Hawaii’s economy.

“As we look to support the recovery and stabilization of our state and its economy, we’re extending benefit enhancements and cost-sharing waivers through the end of the year and looking at more ways to support our members, businesses, and providers,” said HMSA President and Chief Executive Officer Mark M. Mugiishi, M.D., F.A.C.S. “We remain more committed than ever to ensuring that our members have access to high-quality, affordable health care.”

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