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Hawaii Prepaid Health Care (PHC) Act (PHCA) is a state law (Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 393) enacted June 12, 1974 in the State of Hawaii to improve health care coverage by employer mandate. The Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act set a minimum standards of health care benefits for workers. Upon its adoption in 1974, Hawaii became the first U.S. state to require minimum standards of health care benefits by law. Hawaii State Rep. Yoshito Takamine, the longtime chairman of the House Labor Committee, was one of the law's chief architects and proponents.
Under the law, businesses are required to offer health insurance to employees who work more than 20 hours per week for four or more consecutive weeks in the State of Hawaii. Before the law Hawaii had an insured rate of 70%. The highest insured rate after the law was enacted was 98%; by 2009 Hawaii's insured rate dropped to 92%, due largely to the 2009 recession.
Among other things, Hawaii's law requires employers to offer coverage to employees working at least 20 hours per week. In contrast, the federal law requires employers to offer coverage to employees working at least 30 hours per week effective Jan. 1, 2014. The two laws also set different penalties on employers that do not offer coverage.
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