Categorized | Health

Akaka announces health care provisions that benefit Hawaii


U.S Sen. Daniel K. Akaka announced the implementation of key provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act took effect Thursday, Sept. 23.

“Hawaii families and businesses will benefit from the historic health insurance reform we passed six months ago,” Akaka said. “The provisions that take effect today eliminate some of the most notorious barriers to obtaining care.”

A few examples of the benefits that go into effect for policy or plan years starting or renewed after Sept. 23:

* Hawaii residents with private health insurance will no longer have to worry about lifetime limits being placed on coverage and will be protected from having their health insurance retroactively cancelled. Annual coverage limits will also be more reasonable and fair.

* Many young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26 years old.

* Insurance companies will be prohibited from using pre-existing conditions to deny coverage to children.

* Insurance plans must cover recommended preventative care services without charging a copayment or deductible.

* There will be an appeals process to dispute insurance company coverage determinations and claims.

A few examples of the benefits which went into effect earlier this year as a result of the Affordable Care Act:

* Many small businesses are receiving tax credits for contributions to purchase health insurance for their employees.

* Medicare beneficiaries in the Part D prescription drug benefit gap, or “donut hole,” began receiving rebate checks as the law gradually eliminates the coverage gap.

* Federal and state run Pre-Existing Condition Plans have been established to provide health insurance to those that have been denied coverage.

The Affordable Care Act also includes a provision, based on an amendment offered by Sens. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye, that permanently restores Hawaii’s Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital allotment to support hospitals that care for significant numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients.

This provision is expected to provide more than $100 million for Hawaii hospitals through fiscal year 2019. The state of Hawaii will have to provide matching funds in order to utilize the federal allotment.

The Affordable Care Act also includes a provision requested by Senator Akaka that is intended to preserve Hawaii’s system of employer-based health insurance, mandated by the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act.

— Find out more:
Akaka’s issue page:
Akaka’s Congressional Record Statement:

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