HMSA, Kaiser little harmed by Aloha’s end
Hawaii's two major medical insurers, which have been working with former Aloha Airlines workers to help them keep or find new health plans, said yesterday that membership losses caused by the carrier's demise shouldn't significantly hurt them financially.
More than 1,000 of some 2,050 Aloha employees who lost their jobs were covered by the Hawaii Medical Service Association, spokeswoman Laura Lott said. About 100 of them attended meetings at HMSA last week to consider options such as enrolling in personal plans, joining their spouse's membership, or seeking state assistance through the QUEST program, she said.
Customer service representatives for HMSA, the state's largest health insurer with about 700,000 members, are still fielding calls from members who worked for Aloha, Lott said.
Kaiser Permanente, the state's largest health maintenance organization with more than 220,000 members, said up to 800 of its members may be affected by Aloha's closure, spokeswoman Jan Kagehiro said.
Like HMSA, Kaiser also is offering its subscribers options to remain insured, and many have already switched to their spouse's plan, Kagehiro said. Kaiser also set up a booth at last week's job fair to look for employees.
"We might see a slight dip in the membership, but again our hope is that they will choose to rejoin Kaiser Permanente when they are able to," she said.
For help, HMSA members can call 948-6111. Kaiser's number is 432-5955 for Oahu members and 1-800-966-5955 for those on neighbor islands.