East Hawaii News

Hawai’i Health Connector Committee Approves Quick Transition

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The remaining functions of the Hawai’i Health Connector are expected to transfer to state authority following a Thursday vote by the Connector’s Executive Committee.

Ongoing financial challenges have forced the state to accelerate the transition, beginning Dec. 1.

In June, the United States Department of Health and Human Services determined that Hawai’i wasn’t in compliance with certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including a provision that required the Connector to be financially self-sustaining by January of this year.

It was agreed by Governor David Ige, state cabinet officials, and Connector leadership that the transition was in the best interest of Hawai’i residents, since the state was already beginning its transition into the federal marketplace for the current enrollment period, slated to last through Jan. 31, 2016.


“Through the leadership of several members of my cabinet, including Directors Rachael Wong, Linda Chu Takayama, Catherine Awakuni Colon, Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito, and Chief Innovation Officer Todd Nacapuy, the state has collaborated with federal officials to facilitate this transition so that we can work toward restoring compliance with ACA,” said Governor Ige. “I especially appreciate the diligence of the Connector’s volunteer board of directors and the support of Sen. Roz Baker and Rep. Della Belatti.”

Hawai’i residents who are not eligible for health insurance through their employer and who are not enrolled in a government insurance program are eligible to enroll during the open period.

“Due to Hawai‘i’s long history of health care coverage through the Prepaid Health Care Act of 1974, the rate of uninsured individuals has been amongst the lowest in the nation. The Connector was established to reach out to uninsured Hawai‘i residents who were not covered under the Prepaid Health Care Act or government health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare,” said Jeff Kissel, executive director of the Hawai’i Health Connector. “We believe we were successful in reaching many of these previously uninsured individuals. Hawai‘i residents will still be able to continue to access affordable health care coverage through healthcare.gov ”


The Connector’s final board vote will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

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