|By Kristen Consillio, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The state Insurance Division said Monday it had approved Kaiser's rate increase for individuals but is still reviewing a separate 5.3 percent proposed increase for 155,000 members covered under 5,200 business groups.
Kaiser, the state's largest health maintenance organization with more than 226,000 members, said it has already implemented the group increase while awaiting approval from the division, which regulates health plan rates. Kaiser said it will readjust rates if the increase is not approved.
"I'm upset because it went up over
"That's just the direction that the world's going in," said Lopez, 36. "Health insurance, like gas, food and everything else, is just going to go up. There's not much that we can do except to try our best to keep up."
"The Insurance Division carefully and thoroughly reviewed the rate adjustment and determined it was reasonable," she said. "As a nonprofit health plan, we use premium dollars to maintain health care infrastructure and provide quality care to our members."
Individuals and small businesses may see relief next year from higher-priced medical insurance policies when
The online health insurance exchange, known as the Hawaii Health Connector, is designed to provide residents access to affordable coverage as a one-stop shop where individuals can buy insurance at subsidized rates through a variety of competing health plans.
The state-based exchange, mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act, received conditional approval last week from the
"I would think that's a good thing for the little guy because competition should bring down prices," Lopez said. "Every little bit helps."
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