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Kaiser rates to rise


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POSTED: Friday, December 04, 2009

Premiums will be going up 12.63 percent for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii's 14,000 individual members, but the state Insurance Division has not made a decision yet regarding the health maintenance organization's request for a 10.7 percent rate increase for its group members.

State Insurance Commissioner J.P. Schmidt said yesterday that Kaiser will be notified today of the approved rate increase for individual members, which is just below the 12.8 percent increase that Kaiser was seeking. It will go into effect Jan. 1.

However, Schmidt said the Insurance Division still has questions about Kaiser's requested group insurance increase. Kaiser, which has 224,000 members overall, will be notified today that more information is needed. Schmidt anticipated that Kaiser would respond promptly so it could implement dues changes by the beginning of the year.

“;We need to get the information to support the filing; otherwise we simply are not going to approve it,”; Schmidt said.

The commissioner said the slight decrease from Kaiser's initial request for individual members doesn't mean that the health provider's group rate increase request will be similarly lowered.

“;They may not have any relation whatsoever,”; Schmidt said. “;They are different filings with different histories and different actuarial analyses supporting them.”;

Hawaii Medical Service Association received state approval last month to raise rates an average of 9.9 percent in January for its larger businesses.