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HOU LAB HB 2334 EUTF Dependent Beneficiary

The House Committee on Labor & Public Employment

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

9:45 AM, Conference Room 309

RE: HB 2334, Relating to the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust     

Fund Definition of “Dependent-Beneficiary”

Attention: Chair Aaron Johanson, Vice Chair Daniel Holt and members of the Committee

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA) urges the committee to support passage of HB 2334, that amends the definition of “Dependent-Beneficiary” under Section 87A of the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, to clarify the eligibility of children in fund benefit plans, and to bring the definition of “dependent-beneficiary” in conformance with the federal Patient Protection Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA).

The current ambiguity in the statute allows for dependent beneficiaries adopted or born after the fund eligible employeeʻs or retireeʻs death to have access to fund benefits through the employeeʻs or retireeʻs surviving spouse, which we believe is not the intent, and outside of normal dependent-beneficiary eligibility practices.   

This measure will also change the definition of “dependent-beneficiary” from “Unmarried Child” to “Child” and remove the requirement of living with the employee beneficiary, which will conform the statute with the ACA.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony on this measure.  UHPA supports the passage of HB 2334.

Respectfully submitted,

Kristeen Hanselman

Executive Director