• Social workers establish the Hawaii Medical Service Association on Oahu in 1938.
  • The not-for-profit organization starts serving 671 members.


  • HMSA joins the national Blue Shield Association and opens offices on Kauai, Hawaii Island, and Maui.
  • It grows to 30,000 members.


  • Members gain protection from the high cost of serious, devastating illness when HMSA introduces the Major Medical Plan.
  • Membership increases to 155,000.


  • To help unemployed people, senior citizens and college students, HMSA creates affordable health plans for them.
  • Enrollment multiplies to 350,000 residents.


  • Residents face rising medical costs and HMSA offers its first health maintenance organization (HMO), a cost-cutting plan to have one doctor manage all of a member’s health care.
  • More than half of Hawaii’s population joins HMSA, totaling 500,000 subscribers.


  • HMSA’s Health Plan Hawaii earns the status of a federally qualified HMO after meeting government standards that benefit consumers.
  • New plans and programs:
    • 65C Plus, the USA’s first federally approved Competitive Medical Plan, qualifies to participate in Medicare
    • Flexible Spending Service
    • Dental Network HMO
    • Employee Retirement Income
  • Security Act (ERISA) Reporting Service to help employers meet government standards
  • Subscribers number about 558,000.


  • HMSA joins the Blue Cross Association, becoming Hawaii’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) plan.
  • HMSA contracts with Hawaii QUEST, a state program with health benefits for people receiving Medicaid or on the State Health Insurance Program.
  • Membership grows to 600,000.


  • Uninsured children ages 31 days to 18 years old benefit from the new children’s plan HMO with affordable medical, dental and drug coverage.
  • HMSA’s Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans and HMOs keep earning the nation’s highest approval from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
  • Added plans and programs:
    • expanded student plans for individuals, two people and families
    • lower-cost plans CompMED and Catastrophic Care for individuals and employer groups
  • Membership rises to 692,000.


  • HMSA works extensively to implement the Affordable Care Act and help employers, members, and providers understand the law’s many complex provisions.
  • New contracts reward hospitals in HMSA’s network for the quality, safety, and efficiency of the care they provide instead of a traditional system based on the number of procedures performed.
  • Technological advances include online health plan enrollment and administration, online prescription drug tools, the switch to electronic Report to Member statements, and HMSA’s first mobile app.
  • New plans and programs:
    • HMSA Akamai Advantage, new Medicare Advantage plans.
    • Well-Being Connection, a comprehensive, integrated approach to health and well-being, offers support, online tools, and coaching to help members work with their doctor to stay on top of all aspects of their health.
    • Health Care: Plain & Simple campaign helps people learn about health plans and health care in plain and simple language.