Health Care for Keiki
Temporary assistance for children from families impacted by business closures.
The Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) and the State of Hawaii are working together to ensure local keiki are taken care of increasingly difficult economic times. On August 1, HMSA began enrolling children from families affected by Hawaii business closures, and who have no other health insurance coverage, under the existing Keiki Care Plan. The coverage will be effective through the end of this year.
“With all the stresses that come with losing a job, I think what hits families hardest is concern over their children continuing to get good health care,” said Senator Roz Baker (Dist, 5 – South and West Maui, Kapalua, Ka’anapali, Lahaina, Ma’alaea, Kihei, Wailea, Makena), Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. “While we are confident that we will overcome the economic impacts and loss of jobs that came with these closures it is good to know that Hawaii’s keiki will be covered in the meantime.”
In response to several high profile business closures around the state, such as Aloha Airlines, ATA, and Molokai Ranch, the state legislature passed SB69 (which became law as Act 239 without the Governor’s signature.) The bill temporarily expands eligibility for the children’s health care program to assist children of workers employed by a Hawaii-based corporations which filed for bankruptcy and ceased doing business in Hawaii between February 29, 2008 and September 30, 2008 or only ceased doing business in Hawaii during that time period.
“Providing healthcare for the children was something that the legislature could do relatively quickly to help the parents who lost their jobs due to business closures,” said Representative Maile Shimabukuro (District 45— Waianae, Makaha, Makua), Chair of the House Committee of Human Services and Housing.
The Keiki Care Plan was originally created by the legislature in 2007, and it provides basic health coverage for children between the ages of 31 days to 18 years who come from families at around 300% of the federal poverty level but do not qualify for other state or federal health programs — essentially a gap group. The premiums are paid by and split between HMSA and the State of Hawaii.
For more information contact HMSA at 948-5555, or toll-free at 800-620-4672.