Frequently Asked Questions

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Welcome to UHA

What does UHA stand for?

University Health Alliance.

How did UHA get its name?

In 1996, a group of physician teachers at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine decided to make a difference. They created the University Health Alliance to bring a simpler, more caring approach to employee health insurance. Since then, UHA has grown to offer the largest physician network in Hawaii.

What do you mean by Better Health, Better Life?

We believe good health is one of the keys to living the best life possible. That’s why we were the first health insurer in Hawaii to provide 100% coverage for wellness and preventive medicine, including annual physical exams, seasonal flu vaccines and a variety of health screenings. Better health leads to a better life.

How easy is it to switch to UHA from HMSA?

It’s actually a straightforward process. Here are the details:

1. You get a quote from us.
2. You agree to the quote and pay the first premium.
3. You enroll your employees.
4. We send the member ID cards to each of your employees.

That’s all there is to it!

How long does it take to switch to UHA?

Once you apply, our proposal will come back to you within a week. Enrollment times vary based upon your review time and the number of people in your employ. Your member ID cards will arrive 5 to 10 days later. Check out our Timeline.

I saw that ad about nurse visits, does everybody get a nurse visit?

Not everybody needs a nurse visit. But when your condition is being managed due to complications or serious diagnosis we come by and offer our help and advice.

Do you offer Medicare products?

No, we don’t.

My rates keep going up at HMSA. Do your rates go up every year, too?

It is an unfortunate fact of life in the current healthcare industry that costs tend to increase from year to year. That said, we’ve done our best over the last several years to keep our rates as low as possible, even as factors out of our control — such as the cost of prescription drugs — have gone up.

Do you offer individual plans?

No. We offer business plans for companies of all sizes.

Do you offer an HMO plan?

No. All of our plans allow you to choose from our extensive list of providers. No insurance company in Hawaii has a larger provider network than UHA’s.

How financially secure is your company?

Very secure. We consistently maintain at least double the state-required amount of financial reserves.

HMSA gets approvals for procedures from a mainland company. Do you?

No, we don’t. All decisions on services requiring prior authorizations are made in-house, right here in Hawaii. This frequently results in shorter pre-authorization times.

What is your average approval time for prior authorizations?

All prior authorizations are done within two weeks. Online submissions take about a week, and urgent situations are handled within 72 hours.

What does [health insurance term] mean?

Here’s a partial list of some commonly used health coverage and medical terms.