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Short-term health insurance in Hawaii

Hawaii enacted legislation in 2018 that mostly prohibits the sale of short-term plans

Buying short-term health plans in Hawaii

Hawaii law restricts sale of short-term plans

Hawaii enacted HB1520 (Act 192) in July 2018. The legislation prohibits the sale or renewal of a short-term plan to anyone who was eligible to purchase a plan in the exchange during the previous calendar year, either during open enrollment or during a special enrollment period.

Short-term plans limited to 90 days

The legislation also limits short-term plans to no more than 90 days in duration, and took effect immediately, in July 2018.

The legislation prohibits renewal and/or re-enrollment for anyone who was eligible to purchase a plan in the exchange during the previous year, and defines “renew or reenroll” as providing coverage (under a new plan or the renewal of an existing plan) to anyone who has had coverage under a short-term plan within the previous calendar year. So a person was eligible to purchase a plan in the exchange cannot buy a short-term plan for the first time, and also cannot renew a short-term plan or purchase a subsequent short-term plan if they already have one.

Because HB1520 bans the sale or renewal of short-term plans to anyone who was eligible to purchase an ACA-compliant plan in the exchange during the previous calendar year, it essentially eliminates the market for short-term plans in Hawaii — because virtually everyone is eligible to purchase coverage in the exchange in any given calendar year.

The only people who aren’t eligible to purchase a plan in the exchange are undocumented immigrants, incarcerated individuals, and people who are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A.

Until October 2, 2018, federal regulations limited short-term plans to three months in duration, and prohibited renewal. The Trump Administration has relaxed those rules, but only in states that allow it. Since Hawaii passed legislation in 2018 to limit short-term plans to 90 days (and to sharply limit eligibility), the new federal rules (allowing for longer short-term plans) do not apply in Hawaii.

Which insurers offer short-term plans in Hawaii?

  • National General

Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.

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