UHA extends current health plans for another year

Published On: Nov 18 2013 01:23:25 PM HST   Updated On: Nov 18 2013 03:26:47 PM HST

Due to the recent announcement by President Barack Obama on Thursday and by Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito on Friday, the University Health Alliance says it will allow small groups the option of extending their current health plan benefits if renewing between Jan. 1, 2014 and Oct. 1, 2014.

This change affects small businesses, with 50 or less employees, that do not currently have a drug or vision rider. UHA will offer those businesses the option to defer that mandatory benefit for another year.

The mandatory pediatric dental benefit will be included in the medical plan only if the employer does not have a separate dental rider with UHA or another carrier. All other essential health benefit mandates will be included in all of UHA’s plans on Jan. 1, 2014.

UHA is in the process of notifying employees affected by this recent change. It is UHA's goal to keep our customers satisfied and create the least disruption in coverage while adhering to our legal obligations put forth by the Affordable Care Act.

"We are aware of President Obama's recent comments regarding the termination of health insurance policies due to the health care reform act and the subsequent concessions he proposed. UHA has been serving Hawaii families for over 15 years with the main priority of protecting our members and their families," said UHA Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Lance Kaneshiro.  "The health insurance environment is exceedingly complex and we are monitoring the development of new regulations on both the federal and state levels to determine the best course of action for our 52,000+ members."

The insurance commissioner's office says only two insurers so far have agreed to the commissioner's request to continue non-renewed health plans -- UHA and HMSA.

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