Cost of living in Hawaii
could be on the rise again in lieu of proposed Health care increases. Kaiser Permanente and the Hawaii Medical Service Association are lobbying the state division to raise premiums upwards. Unfortunately this is a nation wide trend but Hawaiian's can not afford yet another raise in their cost of living. With a weak economy and job market along with high energy and food costs the citizens of Hawaii are already finding it difficult to make ends meet.
The Proposed Raise in Insurance Premiums
The Hawaii Medical Service Association after raising premiums 11.7% two years ago and 14.8% this year are trying to increase rates for 84,000 members by 3.6% starting next year. HMSA is celebrating a $5.8 million profit this quarter and hopes to host an even bigger party at the end of the 1st quarter next year. They did post a $4.1 million loss a year earlier. The state division has received a proposal from Kaiser Permanente to raise their premiums 8.8%. This would affect 160,000 members. This increase would also start at the beginning of the year. Kaiser enjoyed a $2.8 million profit in the second quarter following increases of 12.6% this year and 10.7% last year. They lost $5.1 million last year. The federal health reform act if passed will require insurers to submit a request for approval to state or federal reviewers for increases of 10% or more. Note the 2 above provider's rate increases are reduced from double digital percentages last year to single digit percentage next year. Just an after thought!
The Average Cost of Medical insurance in Hawaii
Medical insurance premiums across the board increased from 12.3% to 17.8% according to a recent report. The annual yearly premium cost is projected to reach 20k by 2020 for families and $7,000 for individuals. Hawaii at this time is at the low end when compared to the rest of the nation. Hawaii currently ranks 3rd lowest in family premiums. Health care premiums averaged $12,00 last year. The U.S. average was $13,871. For individual coverage Hawaii's cost is the 2nd lowest with an average price of 4,000 a year. We could obtain the national average for individuals.
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