STAND. COM. REP. NO.  755-08


Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2008


RE:   H.B. No. 2224

      H.D. 1





Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Fourth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2008

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce, to which was referred H.B. No. 2224 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this bill is to expand access to health insurance by requiring insurers that provide health care coverage to the regular employees of a private group or association to offer the same coverage to part-time employees who work at least 15 hours per week, without requiring the group or association to pay any part of the premium for that coverage.


     The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs, Hawaii Teamsters Local 996, and Hawaii Medical Service Association testified in support of this bill.  The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii supported the intent of this measure.


     There are concerns that only the part-time employees with an immediate need for health care services are likely to pay for the optional coverage provided by this bill, which may increase insurance risk and result in higher premiums for the employer group.  Your Committee finds that this issue merits further consideration.


     Accordingly, your Committee has amended this bill by:


     (1)  Changing the effective date to January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and


     (2)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for clarity and style.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2224, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2224, H.D. 1.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce,