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HMSA, Kaiser offer student health plans

by Bernadette Bass, staff writer

Students don’t need to add health care worries to their daily concerns. HPU has arranged student health insurance plans with two local medical insurance carriers, Kaiser Permanente and Hawai‘i Medical Services Association (HMSA).

According to Sandra Benevides, the HPU/Kaiser representative, even though students tend to be younger and healthier than the general population, they are at risk, especially, for illnesses that are sexually transmitted (STDs).


Benevides explained that students often do not seek treatment because they can’t afford it and have no insurance. Students who are sexually active and who do not get regular medical checkups or treatment, may be spreading infections unknowingly.

If a sexually transmitted disease or infection is left untreated, the condition may worsen and endanger one‘s future, causing blindness, infertrility, even death.

At HPU, all full-time international students are required to have full medical coverage. However, some students are still unaware of what medical insurance is available throughout the University.

Kaiser Permanente

According to Benevides, 600 to 1,000 students and dependents, about 13 percent of the student population, have purchased Kaiser membership plans.

HPU/Kaiser Permanente Health Clinic services are open to HPU students enrolled at least half time and their dependents. Also eligible for the health plans are students participating in approved HPU-sponsored programs, HPU visiting colleagues, short-term scholars/professors, and HPU students doing Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Services provided at the Kaiser Honolulu clinic include general medicine, health education, internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, optometry, ophthalmology, pediatrics/adolescent medicine, surgery, urgent care, industrial and occupational medicine, travel medicine, personal health appraisals, and women’s health programs. Specialty services are also available by referral from a Kaiser Permanente physician.

For patients who are not Kaiser Permanente members, payment is due on the day of service. A visit record must be turned in with payment to the cashier prior to leaving. A $15 billing fee will be charged if payment is not made on the day of services. Kaiser will provide assistance in filling out claim forms to send to other insurance carriers for reimbursement of medical fees.

Students who purchase a medical plan through Kaiser Permanente can choose or change their Primary Care Physician (PCP) any time and can schedule same-day appointments at any Kaiser clinic. The Kaiser plan does not include coverage for drugs or vision.

HMSA-Three Plans

HMSA offers HPU students a basic medical plan and a comprehensive plan that include drug and vision coverage. For both plans, students would arrange medical services with their own providers and, depending on the plan, pay a percentage, usually about 20 percent, of those charges directly to the provider.

To be eligible for either HMSA’s basic or comprehensive medical plan, students must be:

• Enrolled at least half time for fall 2004.

• Participating in approved HPU-sponsored programs.

• Doing OPT (Optional Practical Training).

There are also limits to coverage, even though students can travel anywhere in the world and still be covered. See for more information on medical benefits. The quarterly rate is $192.75, or $64.25 per month.

Students can enroll for the Kaiser Permanente Health Clinic or HMSA services at any HPU campus registration center.


Kaiser Permanente Plans
Cost per semester
Student only $ 413
Student plus one dependent $1,217
Student plus two or more dependents $1,823

HPU/ Kaiser Permanente Health Clinic, 1010 Pensacola Street, Honolulu. Health Center Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8:30 a.m. to Noon Saturday
HPU Kaiser Line: 432-2820. Honolulu Clinic: 593-2950. Customer Service: 432-5955. After-Hours Advice Line: 831-3331.


HMSA Plans

Cost per semester
Basic Plan Comprehensive Plan
Student only $ 374.72 $ 514.97
Student + 1 $ 1,080.35 $1,498.48
Student + 2 or $ 1,606.43 $2,211.97
more dependents

HMSA Customer Service Line: (808) 948-6466
Web site:


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