STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3043
RE: H.B. No. 1897
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Eighth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2016
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 1897, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO INSURANCE COVERAGE OF HEALTH SCREENINGS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to ensure insurance coverage for sexually transmitted disease screenings, including screenings for human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women; Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii; Hawaii Medical Service Association; Kaiser Permanente Hawaii; American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Hawaii Section; LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; Hawaii Public Health Association; and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Department of Health, and Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund Board of Trustees.
Your Committee finds that research has shown that preventive health services can save lives and improve health by identifying illnesses earlier, managing illnesses more effectively, and treating illnesses before they develop into more complicated, debilitating conditions. Furthermore, under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Affordable Care Act), private health plans are required to cover a range of preventive services without any patient cost sharing.
Your Committee further finds that despite the benefits of preventive health services, testing rates for sexually transmitted diseases remain troublingly low. One of the obstacles to testing for sexually transmitted diseases is the cost. Although many health insurance plans in Hawaii cover sexually transmitted disease screenings, this measure removes any possible gaps in covered health screening services that may exist in grandfathered health insurance plans not currently subject to the Affordable Care Act. Ensuring that all health insurers in the State, including health benefits plans under the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund, offer insurance coverage for sexually transmitted disease screenings will increase diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases in Hawaii and potentially lead to a higher rate of self-initiated testing.
Finally, your Committee notes that after a discussion with the Department of the Attorney General, a clarifying amendment to this measure, which provides an exemption to an Auditor's report associated with new mandates for health insurance coverage, is necessary. Your Committee notes that since most health insurance plans in the State already provide insurance coverage for sexually transmitted disease screenings, an Auditor's report is unnecessary.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that this measure shall be exempt from the requirement under section 23-51, Hawaii Revised Statutes;
(2) Specifying that the insurance coverage for annual screenings of sexually transmitted diseases required by this measure applies to all insurers in the State, including health benefits plans under chapter 87A, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1897, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1897, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair