Lawmakers in Hawaii are moving ahead with a public long-term care insurance (LTCI) program study measure.
Members of the Hawaii House Consumer Protection & Commerce Committee voted 10-0 Wednesday to approve an amended version of House Bill 1.
If passed as written, H.B. 1 would require the director of the state’s executive officer of aging to hire actuaries to analyze the idea of setting up a “limited, mandatory, public” LTCI program for Hawaii’s workers, according to the state legislative tracking system.
The bill would provide $380,000 in funding for the actuarial analysis.
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State Rep. Gregg Takayama, D-Pearl City, introduced the bill.
Members of the state Senate voted Jan. 31 to approve an amended version of a companion bill, Senate Bill 104, by a 3-0 vote.
State Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, D-Sand Island, the chairman of the Human Services Committee, introduced S.B. 104.
Chun Oakland also introduced a public LTCI program bill during the previous legislative session.
The authors of H.B. 1 state in the first section of the bill that relying on private insurers to meet long-term care insurance needs has not worked.
A Hawaii long term care commission has found that “only a minority of Americans will ever have private long term care insurance, even in an optimistic economic environment,” according to the bill text. “Therefore, an alternative that matches the mandatory, universal long-term care insurance programs found in countries such as Japan and South Korea is to create a more balanced delivery system for long term care to all persons who require it, regardless of their financial need.”