HB Healthcare & Insurance
(page 4 of 7)
Antonio J. Saguibo Jr.,
Health Care Reform Update
Starting in October 2013, small businesses in Hawaii will have another option of providing health care coverage to their employees through a state-based health insurance exchange called the Hawaii Health Connector. For groups with open enrollment in October, plan changes will be effective January 1, 2014. HMSA can answer questions on how this may impact you.
Q: What is the exchange?
A: The exchange is part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that allows people to shop for a health plan through an online marketplace, similar to the way travelers shop for airline tickets or hotels on travel websites.
Q: Do I have to use the exchange?
A: Although HMSA will offer health plans on the exchange, you are not required to use the exchange. You can work directly with HMSA for health care coverage.
Q: Will health care reform change health plan benefits?
A: Starting in 2014, ACA will require health plans sold in the individual and small group market to include certain essential health care benefits. HMSA’s plans already include most of these benefits. Certain benefits, such as prescription drug and pediatric vision coverage, will need to be added to those plans starting in 2014.
Q: Will rates change for small businesses?
A: Under ACA, health plan rates will be based on your employees’ age and tobacco use. Rates will be higher for older employees and those who smoke. Some small businesses may be eligible for health care tax credits of up to 50 percent for two years. Consult your tax advisor about the tax credit.
HMSA can answer your questions about health care reform and how it affects your employees’ health plan. Contact your HMSA representative or call 948-5555 on Oahu or 1 (800) 620-4672 toll-free on the Neighbor Islands. For more information, visit HMSA’s website at hmsa.com/reform.
The information is based on HMSA’s review of the Affordable Care Act. This overview is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used as tax, legal, or compliance advice.
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