The Hawai'i Medical Service Association informed state officials on Friday that it will withdraw from the small business segment of the Hawai'i Health Connector, the state'S health insurance marketplace.
The move will affect all HMSA health plans offered through the Hawai'i Health Connector's Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, and will take effect in 2015. Currently, HMSA offers 13 small business health plans in the SHOP.
HMSA will continue to offer small business health plans that meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act directly to businesses. HMSA will also provide health plans through the Hawai'i Health Connector's online marketplace for individuals who aren’t covered by an employer.
HMSA is one of two insurance companies that offer health plans through the Hawai'i Health Connector's separate individual and small business marketplaces.
"It’s become clear that Hawaii's unique circumstances make it unnecessary to have the SHOP exchange. The successful Hawaii Prepaid Healthcare Act, which has mandated nearly universal health coverage for most employees since 1974, makes the SHOP an extra layer of cost and bureaucracy for businesses and health insurers," said Michael A. Gold, president and chief executive officer of HMSA.
HMSA says its small business enrollment from Jan. 1, 2014 to Aug. 9, 2014, makes it clear that Hawaii businesses want to deal directly with HMSA rather than go through the Hawai'i Health Connector.