Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

TechHui Sole Props -- Can you Email Me Your Health Insurance Situation?

I have obtained a meeting with Representative Calvin Say to discuss the prohibitive cost of health insurance for sole proprietors in the State of Hawaii, where there is no mechanism to allow sole props to enter into group buying pools. How are you handling the costs? What is it costing you? And how much has it gone up? We are paying almost $1500 a month for a family of 4 (and its very good coverage but comparable coverage for a family of four at a major employer is roughly $800-$900 per month). Please tell me your stories so I can share. You can post here or email me at alex dot salkever at gmail dot com. Mahalo!

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Comment by Alex Salkever on June 26, 2009 at 9:43pm
Eric, HMSA just rolled out a Sole Prop plan. It's not cheap -- family of four is 1200 per month for comprehensive (PPO, dental, drug, vision). But it's cheaper than rack rates or the only other group option, LISH. Even 1200 per month is really hard for a sole prop / small business to pay pre-tax (even if you can deduct it). Add to that the GET on any income earned in state (5% if you are on Oahu) and it makes Hawaii very difficult for sole props. I believe most of the West Coast states have better options although California aggregate health costs are more expensive. I'll let you know more as I continue to research the topic.
Comment by Eric Nakagawa on June 25, 2009 at 10:43pm
Alex, I have been looking for a good solution to Health Insurance since we found out my wife was pregnant.

I had been on Cobra and then transitioned to an extended plan with my previous employer's insurance (HMSA, 2007). I was paying about 380$ a month while single. The plan did not allow adjustments or additions to dependents so I effectively loss that coverage.

HMSA, to my knowledge does not cover a Sole Prop or a Partnership unless you have 3 employees attributed to the company (Group discount).

Summerlin and HMAA were the other two companies I was researching at the time (2008).

We ended up leaving Hawaii to have our baby in Japan where health has been nationalized, and (due to low birthrate) child checkups and immunizations are covered until the child is in elementary school. Now that our baby has been born and healthy we are looking at options for insurance in Hawaii. Other states are starting to look more attractive, and with the recent bad decisions for small tech businesses Act221 + HB1405 I am looking beyond the island for options.

It is hard out there for Sole Prop or 2-person operation -- one option could be companies forming hubs of companies to share in discounts but I doubt that would be allowed by any major insurer.

I would love to get any additional feedback on this topic.


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