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Conducted by Ward Research in Summer 2003

The cost of health insurance is a major concern for Hawaii’s residents.

As might be expected, monthly premium charges were uppermost in the respondents’ minds. A majority prefer higher deductibles and lower premiums to lower deductibles and higher premiums.

When asked what kind of premium fees would be acceptable, general public respondents said they would not mind paying $48 a month for basic coverage – compared to $108 cited by the self-employed and $70 by part-timers workers.

Prescription coverage was deemed most important (more than half mentioned it), followed closely by dental. The survey found that if coverage included dental, they would be willing to pay a $71 a month premium.

Seven out of 10 in both the insured and uninsured category agreed that they would accept a tax increase to insure people, especially all children.
Less than 1 in 10 has never had health insurance; about half of the respondents were previously insured, either through an employer or a union.

Health Status

Uninsured Hawaii residents believe that their health status is worse than those with insurance. They lag behind insured residents in frequency of doctor visits. Only about a third of the uninsured have seen a doctor at least twice in the past six months, compared to more than half of those with health insurance.

And as might be expected, those without health insurance are more likely to have other household members without health insurance.

Most uninsured residents (about 60 percent) said they worry about the next time they will get sick; less than 40 percent of insured residents expressed the same concern. Uninsured residents tend to use hospital emergency rooms less, and have fewer overnight stays than those with health insurance.

The resident sample included 602 Hawaii residents. The margin of error is ± 2.8%. This general public survey was funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

For the complete survey results, please download the PDF.