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Conducted by Ward Research in Summer 2003

Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act of 1974 has continued to be a major factor in uncertain economic times among businesses that are trying to balance costs with employee benefits.

From the employers’ point of view, the areas of greatest concern regarding employee benefits are health-oriented: Cost of health insurance and the rate of annual increases, the cost of health care in general, and the quality of service by health care providers and health plans.

The surveys confirmed earlier focus group findings that nearly two-thirds of Hawai`i’s employers would not make any changes to their health insurance plans if Hawai`i’s Prepaid Health Care Act did not exist.

Of those employers who would make changes, most would try to decrease their costs or the number of employees covered, including elimination of health insurance overage completely.

It was learned that 1 in 7 residents who are self-employed and 1 in 6 part-time employees (less than 20 hours a week) do not have health insurance, and that approximately 1 in 13 Hawai`i workers who are not self-employed, working part time, or covered by PHCA do not have health insurance.

A majority of these uncovered workers believe that every worker – regardless of hours – should have health insurance.

Employers are not unsympathetic to the need for health insurance for their workers. Although only 13 percent offer their part-time workers health insurance, about half of the rest said they would do so if the costs to them were minimal, and more than half would help with non-financial tasks of insuring their part-time employees.

How can government help them? Four in 10 employers cited “education” as the most important government responsibility for the working uninsured. And, a little more than half of the employers surveyed said government financial assistance was necessary if they were to insure workers without PHCA coverage.

For the complete results, please download the PDF.