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State cancels open enrollment for 250K Quest members

By Kristen Consillio

LAST UPDATED: 12:52 p.m. HST, May 13, 2013

The state has cancelled open enrollment for 250,000 Quest members due to a dispute between Hawaii Medical Service Association and the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.

The health center is disputing a new payment contract for providing services to roughly 7,500 Quest members on the Waianae Coast enrolled in HMSA, the state’s largest health insurer. Because of the possibility that the center may not accept HMSA insurance, some Quest members had been switching to other health plans.

State officials have rescheduled open enrollment in hopes the situation between HMSA and the health center will be resolved.

The state Department of Human Services, which manages the Medicaid (Quest) health insurance program for low-income residents, said it has rescheduled the period for which they can switch health plans to June 17-28 from May 1-15 “in order to accommodate those who got caught by the Waianae Coast (situation),” said DHS spokeswoman Kayla Rosenfeld.

“Waianae Coast will continue to be available to serve all community members,” while in negotiations with HMSA, she said.

The state allows Quest members to change insurers once a year during open enrollment. Quest members who had selected a new insurer during open enrollment will have to go through the process again.

Representatives of HMSA and the Waianae health center weren’t immediately available for comment.

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