The Hawaii Medical Service Association has proposed a 3.8 percent increase in health insurance premiums for its preferred provider plan that would take effect on July 1 and affect about 84,000 small business members in the Islands.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the rate increase, which was filed last week with the state’s Insurance Division, is the lowest since 1997, when HMSA sought to raise rates by 3.4 percent. The newspaper notes that the Insurance Division last year reduced HMSA’s requested increase from 4.2 percent to 3.7 percent.
The Hawaii Medical Service Association reported a profit of $43.8 million for 2011, which included an operating gain of $22.3 million on revenues of $2.1 billion.
Hawaii’s largest health insurer realized the $43.8 million gain after adding investment income and other income and deducting taxes. HMSA reported net income of $5.27 million for 2010.
“To put our total gain in perspective, $43.8 million covers about nine days of health care claims paid to doctors, hospitals, and health care professionals for our members,” HMSA Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Steve Van Ribbink said in a statement.
HMSA reported net income of $16.68 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $14.27 million for the same quarter in 2010.
HMSA, the Blue Cross Blue Shield provider in Hawaii, had 692,011 members as of the end of 2011, the company said.
With the global box office success of the Hunger Games movie filmed in North Carolina, Cheapflights.com listed the top 10 film locations worldwide that included Kauai.
The Cheapflights’ website described the Garden Island as “Hollywood’s tropical backlot of choice for eight decades now.” Scenes from Jurassic Park, Avatar, Tropic Thunder were filmed there as well as The Descendents and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
According to a news release, the National Brands Index stated research has shown that 40 percent of people would be “very likely” to travel to places that they’ve seen on film.
Other locations that made the list include London; Almeria, Spain; New York; Vancouver; Prague; Thailand; Argentina; New Zealand; and North Carolina.
A Catamaran (The Teralani), came upon an 18 year old male about a mile off of Canoe Beach in Lahaina this afternoon shortly before 3 p.m.
The male, barely able to swim and incoherent, was pulled aboard the boat. He remained on the boat until Ocean Safety Lifeguards on their Jet skis, picked him up and brought him to shore. Fire personnel on shore assisted with carrying him into an ambulance . He then was transported to the hospital. The victim was unable to move and very cold.
A town hall meeting regarding underage drinking prevention is scheduled for March 28, 2012, from 6 to 8 p.m., at King Kekaulike High School cafeteria.
The meeting has been scheduled for about a month now and is part of a national initiative to combat underage drinking. The County did feel it was important to inform the community about the meeting considering the fatal crash on Sunday.
The Maui County Department of Housing and Human Concerns along with Maui Economic Opportunity Inc are working together to facilitate the meeting. For more information go to http://meoinc.charityfinders.com/.
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawai`i– The County of Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety announced the promotion of two to battalion chief this month.
Travis Tancayo has been with the department for 23 years and has worked everywhere from Hana to Napili and from Lanai to Kaunakakai. Tancayo was promoted to Battalion Chief on March 16, 2012 and has since been assigned to the 2nd battalion, which oversees seven stations on Maui, Molokai andLanai.
Petronilo Garces was also promoted to Battalion Chief on March 16 after 24 years of service. Garces has worked in Kaunakakai, Paia, Kahului, Napili and Wailuku. Since being promoted he has been assigned to the 1st battalion which oversees the seven Maui based fire stations.
Other recent promotions include Scott Martin and Gale Notestone to the rank of Captain. Notestone has 18 years of service and was voted Fire Fighter of the Year in 2001. He is currently stationed at the Hoolehua Fire Station. Martin has been with the department for 12 years, much of which was spent at the Kihei Fire Station. Upon his promotion Captain Martin was reassigned to the Kaunakakai Fire Station.
Fire fighters Moses Regidor, Jeffery Watanabe, Zachary Crowder and Larry Rawlins were all also promoted to the rank of Fire Fighter III as of Feb. 16, 2012. Regidor, Crowder and Rawlins will all be assigned toMolokaifire stations while Watanabe is assigned to the training division.
Congratulations to all those promoted and thank you for your continued service.
Hawaii is one of 20 states that has more government workers — federal, state and local combined — today than it did at the beginning of 2008 — a period when the state shed tens of thousands of private-sector jobs.
Hawaii had 124,300 government jobs in January 2008, one month after the Great Recession officially began, according to an analysis of raw numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics by On Numbers, a Pacific Business News affiliate.
That count grew by 1,200 jobs to 125,500 in January of this year, which ranked Hawaii at No. 19 in the nation for number of jobs, On Numbers found. Hawaii was ranked No. 16 for the percentage change, which was just under 1 percent.
A previous report by On Numbers found that Hawaii lost 33,800 private-sector jobs during the same period. There were 503,100 private sector jobs in the Islands four years ago, a number that fell to 469,300 by January this year. Hawaii was ranked 18th on that list for the number of jobs lost, and 43rd for the percentage — 6.72 percent — of jobs lost.
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