East Hawaii News

State to Provide Support in HHC Transition

June 5, 2015, 4:51 PM HST
* Updated June 5, 4:52 PM
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During the November 2015 Open Enrollment period, residents of Hawai’i will no longer be able to use the Hawai’i Health Connector. A lack of federal funds and a sharp decrease of funding from the Hawai’i State Legislature has forced the closure. Last week, the Centers of Medicaid and Medicare Services informed the Connector that its long-term operations would no longer be funded federally.

On Friday, the State of Hawai’i announced that individuals seeking health care insurance during November’s Open Enrollment period will still have its support.

“The state is working with the Connector and CMS to determine what functions can be transitioned to state oversight to ensure compliance with the Affordable Care Act by the next Open Enrollment in November 2015,” said Governor David Ige.

Across the country, health insurance exchanges have struggled, especially in small states where there is a low number of uninsured residents that correspond with the high rates of residents being insured under employer-based health care coverage and expanded Medicaid programs.

During the November Open Enrollment period, the Hawai’i Health Connector’s customer support operations will continue to assist residents.

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Limited funds will be provided by CMS to help during the transition. The efforts will provide the ability to maintain a Supported State-based Marketplace. CMS has not yet determined the amount of transition funds to be provided.

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“The state remains committed to offering health care coverage through the Prepaid Health Care Act as it has for the past 40 years,” said Governor Ige. “The state continues to provide millions of dollars to serve 300,000 Hawai‘i adults and children who receive health care coverage through Medicaid.”

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