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Schatz participates in first committee hearing

(Photo courtesy of Sen. Schatz's Office)

(Photo courtesy of Sen. Schatz’s Office)


Sen. Brian Schatz, member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, has participated in his first committee hearing as U.St. Senator.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing Wednesday entitled, “The Power of Transparency: Giving Consumers the Information They Need to Make Smart Choices in the Health Insurance Market.”

Schatz joined Chairman Rockefeller in expressing that transparency in health insurance policies is needed for consumers to better understand policies and carefully select a health care plan.

“It is critical for Hawaii families to have access to the right information when making important decisions about their health insurance,” Schatz said. “Whether it’s individuals that are Limited English Proficient or lower income households that don’t have the means to access the internet to research health care plans, we must ensure that all consumers have access to the information they need. Clear, relevant information helps consumers better understand complicated health insurance policies so that they can select a plan that is appropriate for their family.”


Ensuring access for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) populations:

The number of LEP individuals in the U.S. grew by 80 percent from 1990 to 2010, and account for 9 percent of the U.S. population over the age of five (25.2 million).

Hawaii has approximately 150,000 LEP individuals. Without adequate translation services, LEP persons may not have meaningful access to health care information.

Improving accessibility through smartphones:

According to the Pew Research Center, young adults, minorities, individuals with no college experience, and those with lower household income levels are more likely than other groups to use their phone to access the Internet.

Creating a smartphone app to start as an entry point for consumers to access health care information could reduce the time they spend searching for the needed information.

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