Understanding health care act is essential to all

The Maui News has done a great service to readers by letting them know about the cost impacts of health care reform, also known as the Affordable Care Act (“HMSA chief says reform won’t lower rates in the short term,” May 9). It’s an essential topic for everyone who uses health care in Hawaii.

I want to highlight HMSA’s support for the law and the Hawaii Health Connector, which will operate the state’s health insurance website. As one of only two insurers now committed to offering health plans on the connector, we are working closely with the connector and the state government to ensure the website will open in October as scheduled.

Health care reform’s reach goes far beyond costs. For example, the law states that, starting in 2014, people cannot be denied coverage even if they have a serious health condition. This is important information for anyone with a chronic disease like diabetes.

HMSA believes every business and individual in Hawaii deserves to know how they will be affected by the law. We have created online videos, FAQs and infographics that explain the reform in plain and simple language. I hope everyone visits hmsa.com/reform to learn more and email us at reform@hmsa.com with questions or to arrange a presentation from our readiness team.

When it comes to health care reform, we’ve got you covered.

Michael A. Gold

President and CEO

Hawaii Medical Service Association