Teachers whose health premiums went up the most in July will get to shop around for cheaper options starting Sept. 1.

Trustees for the Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund on Tuesday approved a limited open enrollment for Hawaii State Teachers Association members currently on the HMSA 80/20 medical plan, premiums of which more than doubled on July 1. Beginning Sept. 1, those who find the price increase a hardship will have the opportunity to shop among EUTF’s other plan options for something more affordable.

Trustees voted last month to give other public employees a similar opportunity. They cited concern that some employees might waive medical coverage altogether because of price hikes and increases in the percentage that employees are now required to contribute to their health plans.

Their options will be limited, though, because going rates for six of the 12 other health plans appear to be even higher than those for the HMSA 80/20 plan.

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