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Posted: Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 12:52 PM HST

Hawaii Medical Service Association seeks increase

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) The Hawaii Medical Service Association is asking the state to approve a 12.8 percent rate hike on its health insurance plans for most small business workers.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the insurer says it needs the increase to pay for costs associated with President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul and increased drug costs. The increase would affect plans covering about 77,000 workers in small businesses.

Commissioner Gordon Ito of the state Insurance Division says the agency is reviewing the proposed increase and how it will affect consumers and businesses.

He says the division under the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs will try to find a balance between the best interests of consumers and keeping the insurance company financially solvent.

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