(Honolulu) -- Kaiser Permanente is pulling out of Kauai. The health care organization will stop offering its insurance plans to commercial employer groups on Kauai effective December 31st. State and county employees whose plan coverage begins July 1st also will be affected. Kaiser covers about 47-hundred people on Kauai, or about 7.8% percent of the island's resident population.
Kaiser has never had a physical presence on Kauai, and has provided health coverage under a contractual arrangement with Kauai Medical Group for physician services and Wilcox Hospital for in-hospital services. Kaiser spokesman Chris Pablo says the primary reason for the withdrawal from Kauai was the cost of contracting services.