HMSA Celebrates 80 Years of Service

On June 1, 1938, teachers and social workers established the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) with 671 members on Oahu. After 80 years we’ve grown to over 700,000 members with offices on all major islands. 

What else was happening in 1938?

We’ve changed a lot since 1938, but our commitment to our community remains. Here a few HMSA milestones from the past 80 years:


  • HMSA joins the national Blue Shield Association with 30,000 members and opens offices on Kauai, Hawaii Island, and Maui.


  • HMSA creates affordable health plans to help unemployed people, senior citizens, and college students. 


  • HMSA offers its first health maintenance organization (HMO), a cost-cutting plan help members who face rising medical costs.
  • More than half of Hawaii’s population joins HMSA, totaling 500,000 members.


  • HMSA contracts with Hawaii QUEST, making plan benefits available to people receiving Medicaid or on the State Health Insurance Program. 


  • HMSA’s Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans and HMOs continue to earn the nation’s highest approval from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).


  • Technological advances include Online Care, HMSA’s first mobile app, and Sharecare.
  • HMSA expands its online presence with profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
  • HMSA becomes the first Blue Zones Certified employer in the state. 

You can see a timeline of HMSA’s history on