Hawaii sets minimum health insurance benefits for exchange program

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Hawaii Governor announces minimum health insurance benefits

Insurance news from Hawaii may be welcome for residents awaiting affordable health insurance. The state government has determined the minimum insurance benefits consumers will receive through a state-run health insurance exchange. The announcement was made by Governor Neil AbercHawaii Health Insurancerombie early this week. In choosing the minimum health insurance benefits consumers will receive through new policies, Hawaii moves one step closer to compliance with the Affordable Care Act and establishment of a comprehensive health insurance exchange system.

States have opportunity to determine minimum level of coverage for consumers

Per federal guidelines, states have an opportunity to determine the minimum level of benefits that can be given to consumers through health insurance policies sold through an exchange program. Even states that choose not to build and exchange themselves will the ability to choose these benefits, though they will not be able to regulate the exchange in any way. This is meant to provide even the states that oppose federal health care reform with the ability to look out for their citizens and ensure they can receive a decent level of insurance coverage.

Minimum benefits will be included in all health insurance policies

Hawaii’s minimum health insurance benefits feature ambulance services, hospitalization, and prescription drugs, among several other coverage items. All policies that will be sold through the Hawaii health insurance exchange will feature these benefits as a foundation. Insurers will build upon this foundation, tailoring policies to the needs of different consumers. State lawmakers expect that this will create a consumer-friendly insurance structure for state residents.

Hawaii continues support of Affordable Care Act

Hawaii is one of the states that has backed the Affordable Care Act since its passage into law in 2010. The state expected that the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold the constitutionality of the law earlier this year and was not disappointed. Hawaii is also one of the many states that is making progress on building its own health insurance exchange. Currently, Hawaii expects to have the exchange fully operational before the federal deadline of January 1, 2014.

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