There are major differences between the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act and the national legislation signed into law by President Obama in March.
The national law — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — lets Hawaii retain its distinctive system in areas where federal benefits are less than Hawaii’s. However, the national law will eventually apply where the federal benefits exceed Hawaii’s standards.
For example, Hawaii’s law includes coverage for dependents through age 24 if they are in school. The federal law allows coverage through age 25, whether the person is in school or not. That federal rule will apply in Hawaii starting in September, though some local companies will offer the benefit earlier.
These two pages contain a comparison of the two laws prepared by Bonnie Pang, vice president for employee benefits at Atlas Insurance Agency Inc.
This page shows rules included in the national law but not in Hawaii’s law. The facing page compares, side-by-side, similar provisions in both laws.