Write to HMSA about halting its mailings
: We've been having a real problem with the mail in our neighborhood. We're guessing some kids go through mailboxes, "redelivering" it to another mailbox. The situation has been reported to the post office. That brings me to reports being sent by HMSA, regarding what doctor I went to and how much the insurance will pay or not pay, as well as reports about the drugs that I take. HMSA says these reports are a "service" to me. But, do they have to send reports that contain so much personal information? Is it required by law? What would it take to ask them to stop sending this information unless I want it? This is not the kind of information I would want to have opened by a stranger or neighbor.
Answer: If you want to direct the HMSA report to a more secure mailing address or even suspend the mailing of the "Report to Member," you should put your request in writing, said Cliff Cisco, senior vice president of HMSA.
Send it to HMSA, Customer Relations Department, P.O. Box 860, Honolulu, HI 96808.
The reports provide members with a record of the benefits they have received for covered services provided by their health care providers, Cisco said. It allows HMSA "to educate members on the cost of health care and the value of their benefits."
He also said members depend on the reports for information in paying their bills and preparing income tax returns.
The Report to Member also is useful to HMSA for auditing purposes, when members report that they did not receive a service listed in their report, and also provides information to members when it is required by regulation.
"On rare occasions these reports result in the discovery of fraud," Cisco said.
Q: I called the Board of Water Supply twice to report a leaking water meter on the sidewalk fronting a vacant lot on Kalakaua Avenue, across from Century Center. The second time, I was told that the 1735 Kalakaua Ave. service address was not valid. If BWS determined that the leak is not from the water meter, why hasn't it contacted the property owner to fix the leak?
A: The agency did send an investigator out and found the leak was not from the meter, but from a pipe on the property, said spokeswoman Su Shin.
The property management company was notified and responded that it would send out a plumber to fix the problem, she said.
Q: I saw two large broken glass cases lying on the sidewalk in front of a house on Makaleka Avenue. It is dangerous, especially at night when people might trip on it. Who should I report this to?
A: A city housing code inspector said the glass was not on the sidewalk, but in the planting strip area for bulky-item pickup. He contacted the bulky-item pickup office and was told the items were to be removed last week.
For any obstruction of city sidewalks, contact the Housing Code Section at 768-8159. If it is on the street, call police at 911.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers