Hawaii Healthcare Insurance: What you need to know

Hawaii was the first state to require employers to offer and help pay for health insurance for their employees. Under the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act (HPHCA) employees who work more than 20 hours per week must be covered (Haw. Rev. Stat. Sec. 393-1 et seq.). The law does not require employers to provide coverage for employees' dependents, but many do so voluntarily. The HPHCA has a special exemption from preemption by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, so its requirements apply to all employers, including those who pay benefits themselves through self-insurance. Hawaii has no general law requiring continuation of group health insurance coverage. There is additional information about federal COBRA requirements.
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The HPHCA covers all employers with one or more “regular” employees, except for the state and its subdivisions, the U.S. government, and any foreign government (Haw. Rev. Stat. Sec. 393-3).
Coverage under a qualified prepaid health insurance plan must begin as soon as possible after a “regular” employee has worked four weeks for the employer. A “regular” employee is defined as a person who works at least 20 hours a week and earns a monthly wage of 86.67 times the prevailing minimum wage. Seasonal employees are not counted as regular employees. The term "regular employee" does not include:
• Individuals who work less than 20 hours per week;
• Federal, state, and county employees;
• Agricultural seasonal workers;
• Insurance or real estate salespersons paid solely by commission;
• Individuals working for a son, daughter, or spouse; or
• Children under age 21 working for their father or mother (Haw. Rev. Stat. Sec. 393-5).
Individuals can elect to be exempt from ...

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