Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 2224

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 2




Honorable Colleen Hanabusa

President of the Senate

Twenty-Fourth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2008

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred H.B. No. 2224, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to increase accessibility to health insurance for self-employed individuals.


     This measure:


     (1)  Adds definitions, to be used when applying federal law, for "qualifying event" and "self-employed individual"; and


     (2)  Provides that beginning September 1, 2008 and annually thereafter, all group health issuers shall offer small group health plans to self-employed individuals who live, work, or reside in the group health issuer's service area and upon specified conditions and requirements.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the State Insurance Commissioner, the Hawaii Association of Realtors, The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, and Kaiser Permanente.


     This measure is intended to provide health insurance coverage to self-employed individuals.  Sole proprietors are in an unusual situation.  According to testimony of the State Insurance Commissioner, if self-employed individuals are incorporated, they can obtain health insurance under existing guaranteed issue requirements.  If they are not incorporated, they cannot obtain such a policy.  Yet, there is no significant difference in risk associated with the lack of incorporation that should bar the obtaining of health insurance.  Therefore, this measure could significantly reduce the number of uninsured in the ranks of an estimated 12,000 sole proprietors.


     Your Committee has amended this measure to clarify that the eligible self-employed individual must be "registered" or "licensed" by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary and Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2224, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2224, H.D. 1, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,