Hawaii Health Connector participants may be pushed to federal exchange

Local News

The Hawaii Health Connector may force participants to the federal health exchange.

This comes as the Hawaii Health Connector continues to be non-compliant with the Affordable Care Act.

Violations were uncovered with the program, including unresolved IT issues, a non-integrated eligibility enrollment system and lack of financial sustainability.

If these issues aren’t resolved the state risks losing upwards of $1 billion in federal medicaid funding.

Jeff Kissel, director of the Hawaii Health Connector, said he believes additional funds will be made available, but as of right now one of the biggest challenges is bringing in a positive cash flow.

The Hawaii Health Connector was supposed to become self-sustainable earlier this year.

As a result, participants could be pushed onto the federal health exchange.

“There are substantial issues at risk for the state under the affordable care act and other related statutes,” said Kissel. “But what is more important is the risk to individuals who might not be able to secure the necessary insurance to access to Hawaii’s health and wellness system.”

There are currently more than 38,000 Hawaii residents signed up for health coverage through the Hawaii Health Connector.

Governor Ige and his administration say they will negotiate release of federal grant money to ensure compliance with the affordable care act in time for the Fall 2015 open enrollment.

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