Skip to main content

Advanced Search

Advanced Search

Current Filters

Filter your query

Publication Types



Newsletter Article


The Hawaii Rx Plus Program: Expanding Prescription Drug Coverage for the Underserved

In July 2004, Hawaii implemented the Hawaii Rx Plus program to provide discounted pharmaceuticals to residents who do not qualify for Medicaid, have an income below 350% of the federal poverty line, and have no other drug coverage. An estimated 300,000 individuals qualify for the program, with nearly half that number enrolled as of April 2005. Enrollment was 147,467 as of April 2005. Enrollees receive a discount card to use at participating pharmacies, which allows them to pay the same prices that the State of Hawaii pays for drugs in their Medicaid program. The program also covers pharmaceuticals that are not part of the Medicaid Preferred Drug List, including cancer and mental health drugs. Currently, 138 out of the state's 161 pharmacies participate. During this first phase, enrollees on average save 21% on pharmaceutical costs.

The second phase of the program will begin in July 2005. The state will negotiate additional rebates with pharmaceutical companies on behalf of members and seek to expand the list of discounted drugs. The state hopes to have additional enrollees by July, and thus greater negotiating power. Eventually, program administrators want to save enrollees up to 60% off their out-of-pocket drug costs.

For More Information: Rx Plus: Expanding Prescription Drug Coverage for the Underserved,

Hawaii Rx Plus Web site,
Contact: Tracy H. Okubo, Hawaii Rx Plus Program Coordinator, (808) 586-5036, [email protected]

Publication Details