History

1930s

  • Social workers establish the Hawaii Medical Service Association on Oahu in 1938.
  • The not-for-profit organization serves 671 members.

1940s

  • HMSA joins the national Blue Shield Association and opens offices on Kauai, the Big Island, and Maui.
  • Membership grows to 30,000.

1950s

  • HMSA introduces the Major Medical Plan, which protect members from the high cost of serious illness or injury.
  • Membership increases to 155,000.

1960s

  • HMSA creates affordable health plans for people who are unemployed, the elderly, and college students.
  • Membership multiplies to 350,000.

1970s

  • HMSA offers its first health maintenance organization plan, a cost-cutting plan in which one doctor manages a member’s health care needs.
  • More than half of Hawaii’s population joins HMSA, totaling 500,000 members.

1980s

  • HMSA’s Health Plan Hawaii earns the status of a federally qualified HMO after meeting government standards that benefit consumers.
  • New plans and programs include:
    • 65C Plus, the first federally approved Competitive Medical Plan in the U.S., qualifies to participate in Medicare.
    • Flexible Spending Service.
    • Dental Network HMO.
    • Employee Retirement Income.
  • Security Act (ERISA) Reporting Service is introduced to help employers comply with government regulations.
  • Membership increases to 558,000.

1990s

  • HMSA joins the Blue Cross Association, becoming Hawaii’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan.
  • HMSA contracts with Med-QUEST, a state program with health benefits for people receiving Medicaid assistance.
  • Membership grows to 600,000.

2000s

  • Uninsured children ages 31 days to 18 years old receive medical, dental, and drug benefits from the new HMO children’s plan.
  • HMSA’s preferred provider organization plans and HMOs continue to earn the nation’s highest approval from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
  • New plans and programs include:
    • Expanded student plans for individuals, two people, and families.
    • Lower-cost plans, CompMED and Catastrophic Care, for individuals and employer groups.
  • Membership rises to 692,000.

2010s

  • HMSA works to implement the Affordable Care Act and help employers, members, and providers understand the law’s complex provisions.
  • New contracts with hospitals in HMSA’s network reward them for the quality, safety, and efficiency of the care they provide instead of traditional payment for the number of procedures performed.
  • Technological advances include online health plan enrollment and administration, online prescription drug tools, the switch to paperless Report to Member statements, and HMSA’s first mobile app, HMSA’s Online Care®.
  • New plans and programs:
    • HMSA Medicare Advantage plans.
    • Well-Being Connection, a comprehensive, integrated approach to health and well-being, offers support, online tools, and coaching to help members work with their doctor to stay on top of all aspects of their health.
    • Health Care: Plain & Simple campaign helps people learn about health plans and health care in plain and simple language.
  • HMSA implements the HMSA Payment Transformation Program, a new way of paying doctors. Instead of reimbursing doctors for every health service, HMSA pays them a monthly fee for their patients. The program was recognized in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
  • HMSA brings Blue Zones Project® to Hawaii to help make healthy choices easier in communities.

Blue Zones Project® is a trademark of Blue Zones LLC and Sharecare Inc. All rights reserved.

Amwell® is an independent company providing hosting and software services for HMSA’s Online Care platform on behalf of HMSA.