Hawaii health insurance exchange
Health plans, cost information now available on Hawaii Health Connector
By Carla Anderson
October 17, 2013
After a two-week delay, consumers can now see health plan options and premiums on the Hawaii Health Connector. While the website was somewhat glitchy during its first hours of full functionality, problems eased as the day progressed.
Hawaii Health Connector, the state’s health insurance marketplace, had previously launched Oct. 1, minus plan and cost information. Despite the limited functionality, nearly 20,000 people visited Hawaii Health Connector on Oct. 1. About 1,200 created accounts.
Two insurers, Hawaii Medical Service Association and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, are offering 95 plans through the marketplace. The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Insurance Division announced that premiums on the Hawaii Health Connector would be among the lowest in the nation. A widely reported U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study released in late September did not include information for Hawaii.
The Hawaii Health Connector is a state-run marketplace and overseen by a 15-member board. Coral Andrews serves as the executive director of the exchange. Hawaii’s exchange operates as a clearinghouse, meaning that it is open to all qualified health plans that meet state requirements and wish to compete to sell health insurance to individual consumers and small businesses. Hawaii received about $77 million in federal grants for planning and operating the Connector. Much of that money went to develop the technical infrastructure for exchange operations.
According to HHS, about 90,000 (8 percent) of Hawaiians are uninsured and eligible to use the marketplace.
Consumers must purchase insurance by Dec. 15 for coverage to begin on Jan. 1, 2014. Open enrollment continues through March 31, 2014.
Hawaii health insurance exchange links
Hawaii Health Connector
State Exchange Profile: Hawaii
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Hawaii’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.