Providing Quality Health Care With Aloha

By Martha Khlopin, Medicare sales manager, AlohaCare

AlohaCare is a nonprofit health plan founded in 1984 by Hawaii’s community health centers. Today, AlohaCare has more than 70,000 health plan members and is the third-largest health plan in Hawaii. It partners with thousands of physicians, specialists and providers to care for our members. Its main office is located on Kapiolani Boulevard. Another office is on the Big Island.


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Educator and healer Al Harrington (front, second from left) recently talked with patients at Kapaa Community Health Center about health living | AlohaCare photo

AlohaCare’s passion is to serve the people of Hawaii in the true spirit of aloha by providing a comprehensive continuum of quality health care to all, with special expertise in caring for those who are medically under-served and/or medically fragile. AlohaCare accomplishes this goal by focusing on prevention and primary care through community-governed health centers, and in partnership with physicians and other health care providers who share their compassion and aloha for this population.

Educating individuals and families about health options also is important to AlohaCare. With Medicare Annual Open Enrollment starting Oct. 15, AlohaCare’s Medicare team spends time educating Medicare beneficiaries about how it works.

With the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) quickly approaching, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about this important time.

How do individuals qualify for Medicare?

Medicare beneficiaries qualify for Original Medicare when they work for 10 years. They earn Part A, which pays for hospital benefits, and there is no charge for that coverage. However, they must pay for Part B, which pays for physician office visits, lab work, etc.

Why was Original Medicare created?

Original Medicare has only been around since 1966. Prior to that, if an individual retired with no health care benefit, they had to pay hospital, physician and prescription costs 100 percent out of pocket.

When did Original Medicare start? In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law, and former President Harry Truman and his wife Bess received the first red, white and blue Medicare cards. AlohaCare sponsors a radio program, “World of Medicare,” that airs Saturday mornings at 11 on 690AM-KHNR, and repeats Sundays at 10 a.m. on 99.5FMKGU. For more information, call 973-2479 or visit

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