HPD limited in searching for missing people
: Is there a way or advice you can give to help me locate a family member? He left Florida to move to Hawaii, but has not contacted us in over a month. We are worried about him. He has limited resources and does not know anyone in Honolulu. We have no idea if he's safe.
Answer: The Honolulu Police Department can help locate your relative -- but only to a certain extent.
Send a letter to the Honolulu Police Department, Missing Persons Detail, 801 S. Beretania St., Honolulu, HI 96813.
However, it would be better if you could first file a case report with your local police department, then have it forwarded to HPD for assistance, said Capt. Frank Fujii, spokesman for HPD.
"We want to make sure it's legitimate," he explained. After that, "We'll assign it to Missing Persons and do what we call a 'help locate.'"
But there is a caveat.
"We can help locate" a missing person, Fujii said. "But if they don't want to be found," HPD's efforts will stop there.
"If they are safe and sound and they don't want to let anybody know where they're at in Hawaii, we have no obligation" to pass on the information, he said.
That may be cruel, Fujii acknowledged, "but we're caught in the middle here."
Q: Regarding the new Medicare prescription drug plans for the elderly: We received a packet for our mother from HMSA indicating a choice for a new drug plan needed to be made by Oct. 31. But according to the Medicare rules, the decision doesn't have to be made until Nov. 15. So why is HMSA is saying we need to turn in the form by the end of this month? It puts quite a lot of pressure on us to make this quite complex decision.
A: HMSA would like eligible members to return the forms by Oct. 31 so that it can process the paperwork with Medicare by Nov. 15.
However, it's not a hard and fast deadline, said Carlene Mayes, the insurer's 65C Plus Administration Manager.
She explained that HMSA is offering a new Medicare prescription drug plan only to members enrolled in 65C Plus, a Medicare-based plan.
Because Medicare is allowing HMSA to do a simpler enrollment process, current 65C Plus members do not have to complete a full application, as other Medicare beneficiaries may have to do, Mayes said.
Instead, members just need to complete a questionnaire to select one of HMSA's drug plan options or to opt out of HMSA's Medicare prescription drug plan.
Members have been asked to return their questionnaires by Oct. 31, so HMSA can begin processing the paperwork with Medicare on Nov. 15, she said.
"This will ensure that they are properly enrolled in the new Medicare prescription drug plan and can begin receiving drug benefits on January 1," she said. "However, if members want to take their time to review their materials and talk with family members, they can return their questionnaires after October 31."
The questionnaires will be processed as soon as they are received by HMSA.
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