Legislators and Health Experts Discuss Possible $350M Savings on Health Care

The Medicare for All Hawaii Coalition held a zoom Town Hall meeting featuring Rep. John Mizuno, Rep. Romy Cachola, Dr. Stephen Kemble and Dr. Phillip Verhoef discussing the benefits of a self-insured Medicaid Program coupled with a self-insured employee and retiree healthcare system for State and County employees.

        

Melodie Aduja, chair of the Coalition’s Health Committee, wrote in a statement, if HB1462 (primary sponsor Rep. Cachola) is implemented, the state could save an estimated $350 million per year.

She adds that 29 other states self-insure employee health benefits, with savings as high as 22 percent per year.

        

“By self-insuring the EUTF instead of paying large insurance premiums to an insurance company, and by taking Medicaid back from managed care organizations, Hawaii could see substantial savings and slow the rate of rise of health insurance costs,” she wrote.



        

The Hawai`i State budget is almost $8 billion. Health care costs comprise 30% of $8B, with half of that 30% attributable to employee/retiree EUTF health benefits and the other half to Medicaid (state share).

Aduja wrote “The Hawaii Health Authority could help the State achieve even more savings by assisting self-funded state health benefits programs to use more cost-effective payment systems – time-based payment for doctors and global budgets for hospitals.

“While our current economy is suffering from COVID-19 leaving businesses shuttered and 220,000 workers out of jobs, we need to do all that we possibly can to save our State’s financial resources without decreasing existing health and retirement benefits and programs.”

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