Thursday, October 16, 2008

HMSA honors commitment to Keiki Care

The State administration announced today that effective November 1, 2008, the Department of Human Services will pull out of their agreement to fund 50% of the Keiki Care health plan, a program that provides health insurance for uninsured children. The plan, which was heralded as making Hawaii the second state in the nation to provide health insurance for every child in the state, began in January 2008 as a pilot program. In August, Keiki Care was expanded to include children whose parents were laid off due to the closures of Aloha Airlines, Molokai Ranch, ATA and other businesses.

The state and the Hawaii Medical Service Association split the cost of the premiums 50-50. HMSA reports that 2000 children are enrolled in the plan. However, the state claims that the program has had only limited success.

HMSA responded today by announcing that they will continue to honor their commitment to Keiki Care through the end of the year. From the HMSA press release:

“We’re disappointed in the state’s decision, but we feel we have an obligation to the children and their families,” said HMSA Senior Vice President Cliff Cisco. “Parents with children currently enrolled in the HMSA Keiki Care Plan can rest assured that we will continue the plan without changes at least through the end of the year.”

HMSA will be meeting with its community board of directors next week to discuss the issue and seek recommendations on the future of the plan. “If there are going to be changes to the plan for 2009, we will share that information with parents and the public as soon as we can,” said Cisco.

No comments: