HONOLULU — Island Air promised employees it would continue to pay for their health insurance until the end of November, but failed to do so, according to court records.

The airline, which ceased operations Nov. 10, did not pay for its 423 former employees’ November health care, leaving some without coverage, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported .

Island Air attorney Ted Pettit filed a letter in federal Bankruptcy Court on Monday that said when the company closed, it owed more than $192,000 collectively to Hawaii Medical Assurance Association, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii and Hawaii Dental Service.

The airline’s abrupt closure could also squash ex-employees’ chances at a federal program that allows former workers to continue health coverage at group rates for up to 18 months.

The former employees lost their eligibility for the program because the company laid off all its employees and no longer exists. Consequently, there is no group health insurance rate. Had Island Air retained at least one employee in December and paid November premiums, there would have been a group rate in existence and employees would have been eligible to apply for the program.

Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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