State to Assist with Hawai‘i Health Connector Transition
By Maui Now Staff
The State of Hawai‘i is taking steps to ensure a smooth transition for individuals seeking healthcare insurance in the November 2015 open enrollment period.
The private, nonprofit Hawai‘i Health Connector has been unable to generate sufficient revenues to sustain operations.
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services informed the Connector last week that federal funds were no longer available to support its long-term operations.
The viability of state health insurance exchanges has been a challenge across the country–particularly in small states–due to insufficient numbers of uninsured residents.
Hawai‘i has a high rate of insured residents due to employer-based healthcare coverage and Medicaid program expansions.
“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 Gov. David Ige.
The Hawai‘i Health Connector’s consumer support operations will continue to assist with the November enrollment.
Based upon ongoing discussions with the state and the Connector, CMS has agreed to provide limited funds for the transition so that a Supported State-based Marketplace in which the state provides local customer support can be maintained.
The amount of CMS transition funds has yet to be determined.
“The state remains committed to offering health care coverage through the Prepaid Health Care Act as it has for the past 40 years,” said Gov. 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.”