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State sends erroneous Quest cancellation letters

By Kristen Consillio

LAST UPDATED: 6:08 p.m. HST, Jun 26, 2014

At least 4,582 Hawaii families with Quest health insurance coverage were mistakenly sent letters by the state Department of Human Services this month telling them that their coverage would end on June 30.

Hundreds of recipients have been flooding the state Medicaid offices for answers since receiving the cancellation letters in mid-June.

"I was worried. I thought I had to do the whole process (of applying for Quest coverage) over again," said Kara Faleafine, who received notice that the state was ending Quest health insurance coverage for her two young children at the end of June.

"It's not a fun process to go through. You got to get all your paperwork, all your pay stubs, all your bank statements. It's a lot of hassle," said Faleafine, who was at the DHS's Dillingham office today with her two girls.

When the Star-Advertiser asked DHS officials about the mistake early this afternoon, the agency blamed the error on its mailing vendor, Cardinal Mailing Services, saying the company failed to print the entire file of notices from DHS.

The department said it is spending $2,500 to resend letters on Friday to all affected individuals informing them that their eligibility will be extended at least through Aug. 31.

"DHS sincerely regrets the inconvenience and concern this has caused our medical assistance beneficiaries," the department, headed by Patricia McManaman, said in a press release.

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