Report Title:

Adoption Agencies; Medicaid Expenses Reimbursement

Description:

Requires adoption agencies to reimburse the State for all medicaid expenses incurred for pregnant women who arrive in Hawaii to give birth for the purpose of taking the newborn for adoption, as a condition for the privilege of doing business in the State. Provides for penalty.

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1552

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating tO adoption.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that, under section 346-59.4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, the State, through the department of human services, is required to provide state-funded medical assistance, of up to two hundred per cent of the federal poverty level for Hawaii, to persons less than nineteen years of age who are nonimmigrants from the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands who are citizens of:

(1) The Marshall Islands;

(2) The Federated States of Micronesia; or

(3) Palau, as defined by the Compact of Free Association Act of 1985, P.L. 99-239, or the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Government of Palau, P.L. 99-658,

who are otherwise eligible for benefits under the State's medicaid programs, including QUEST and the State's children health insurance program, but are ineligible due to restricted eligibility rules imposed by Title XXI of the Social Security Act, the Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act of 1996, the Compact of Free Association Act of 1985, P.L. 99-239, the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Government of Palau, P.L. 99-658, or any other provision of federal law denying medical assistance to nonimmigrants who are citizens of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau.

The legislature further finds that a significant number of young women from the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and especially the Marshall Islands have been brought to Hawaii in the very late stages of pregnancy by an out-of-state adoption agency to give birth for the purpose of giving up their newborn for adoption. In the meantime, these young women are housed together and many are often infected with sexually transmitted diseases including syphilis and gonorrhea but are untreated. Without any medical insurance, the State is left to provide medical assistance to these women without hope of reimbursement.

The purpose of this Act is to devise a means of securing reimbursement for state-funded medical assistance given to these young women who are brought to Hawaii to give birth for adoption by adoption agencies.

SECTION 2. Chapter 481B, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"481B-   Adoption agencies; medicaid reimbursement; penalty. (a) No adoption agency that transports pregnant women to, or causes them to enter, the State for the purpose of giving birth to children who are then taken for adoption by the adoption agency shall conduct or operate any part of the business of an adoption agency in the State, unless the adoption agency fully reimburses the State, upon demand by the department of human services, for all costs of medical assistance provided to these women by the State during their stay in the State.

(b) If an adoption agency fails to pay the State pursuant to subsection (a) in the full amount demanded by the department of human services within fifteen business days of the initial notice of payment, the adoption agency shall be subject to a civil penalty of twice the amount originally billed by the department of human services, plus all reasonable and necessary expenses, costs, and attorneys' fees incurred, which amount is to be determined by the court. All amounts of penalties collected shall be realizations of the general fund. All expenses, costs, and attorneys' fees incurred by the department of human services shall be reimbursed to the department of human services."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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