Hawaii Health Insurer Raising Rates for Small Businesses

June 15, 2009

The Hawaii Department of Consumer and Business Services, Insurance Division has approved a rate hike of 12.1 percent for Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA).

The state’s largest health insurer plans to raise premiums for small businesses an average of 12.1 percent for its preferred provider plan. The company had sought a 12.7 percent increase to keep up with soaring medical costs, it said.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito said the DCBS reduction from HMSA’s requested amount will save HMSA customers $2 million a year.

HMSA sought rate hikes in April, saying it needed a double-digit percentage increase after losing nearly $14 million last quarter and nearly $36 million in all of last year. The increase is the largest for HMSA since it hiked rates 18.6 percent in 1989.

The hike goes into effect July 1 for about 11,000 community-rated groups that employ about 103,000 of HMSA’s 703,500 members.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.