Premium Payment Grace Period and Continuing Health Coverage during the COVID-19 Situation

Please be advised that effective September 1, 2021, HMAA will revert to the standard 30-day grace period for premium payments. For example, September 2021 premium is due on September 1, 2021, and including the grace period you will have until September 30, 2021 to make payment.

Please also be advised that reinstatement fees may apply.

Keep in mind Hawaii employers can continue to provide company-paid healthcare benefits to their eligible employees under certain circumstances. Employers will need to continue notifying HMAA when their employees are on an approved leave of absence; this includes sick leave, FMLA, and FFCRA. They must also continue to pay monthly premiums for employees and dependents who remain covered. Due to the fluidity and complexity of the requirements, please consult with your legal or other advisor as needed.

HMAA continues to monitor the situation closely.

This notice and its FAQs were last updated on July 21, 2021 and are subject to future review and modification.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I continue to pay for my employees’ health coverage if they are placed on furlough or no longer meet the eligibility requirements for hours worked due to COVID-19?2021-02-01T22:18:34+00:00

HMAA accommodated employer requests to maintain health coverage until January 31, 2021 for employees who did not meet the 20-hour eligibility requirement per the Prepaid Healthcare Act. Effective February 1, 2021, employees must meet the health plan eligibility requirements, which include working at least 20 hours per week, in order to remain covered.

Can I temporarily change my group’s plan offerings to help reduce costs?2021-07-21T20:36:50+00:00

HMAA previously accommodated employer requests to change plan offerings outside of open enrollment; however, plan changes are now allowed only during your company’s open enrollment/renewal period with HMAA.

Can I unbundle my group’s drug, vision, and dental offerings so they are no longer employer-sponsored and instead offer these as voluntary coverage whereby my employees would be responsible for paying the premiums?2020-08-13T22:47:44+00:00

No, you may not unbundle your rider offerings and offer these as voluntary coverage to your employees. However, HMAA provides the following options to help mitigate the loss of employer-provided coverage:

  • Optum Perks is a prescription drug savings program through which your employees can obtain a free discount card online and instantly save on select prescription medications. Learn more.
  • VSP Individual Vision Plans are direct, non-employer-sponsored vision plans in which your employees can enroll and pay the premium online through VSP’s website. Learn more.
If I close my business today due to COVID-19 and rehire employees a few weeks or months later, can HMAA waive the 4-week waiting period to re-enroll those employees?2021-07-21T20:43:57+00:00

If you rehire employees who were previously covered under your plan, HMAA can waive the 4-week waiting period for these employees if they are re-enrolled within 6 months of losing coverage. Thereafter, employees will be subject to the standard 4-week waiting period and must meet the eligibility requirements for hours worked in order to enroll.

If you are rehiring employees who were not previously covered and wish to waive the 4-week waiting period for a certain timeframe, you may do so as long as this applies to ALL new hires during the specified time period.

To help mitigate the loss of employer-provided drug and vision coverage, HMAA provides the following options:

  • Optum Perks is a prescription drug savings program through which your employees can obtain a free discount card online and instantly save on select prescription medications. Learn more.
  • VSP Individual Vision Plans are direct, non-employer-sponsored vision plans in which your employees can enroll and pay the premium online through VSP’s website. Learn more.
Is my group’s COBRA Continuation Coverage status still active?2020-06-05T01:00:42+00:00

Your group’s COBRA Continuation Coverage status is still active if you employed at least 20 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) for at least 6 months during the preceding calendar year and informed HMAA of this by providing your company’s UC-B6 or Quarterly Wage Report for the preceding year. Your COBRA coverage will remain in active status while your policy remains in effect.

Will HMAA grant leniency if I do not pay my premiums by the first day of the month for which coverage is expected during the COVID-19 situation?2021-07-21T20:46:34+00:00

HMAA expects timely premium payments for health insurance coverage. Previously HMAA extended its grace period for payments to forty-five (45) days; however, effective September 1, 2021 the grace period for payments will revert to 30 days. For example, September 2021 premium is due on September 1, 2021, and including the grace period you will have until September 30, 2021 to make payment.

Please reach out to our Account Management Team at (808) 791-7654, toll-free at (800) 621-6998 x301, or via email if you have questions about any of the above. While this is a difficult time for everyone, we are thankful for the opportunity to service you.

2021-07-21T22:43:57+00:00
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