Categorized | Health

Hawaii Health Connector awarded conditional approval


The Hawaii Health Connector has announced it has received conditional approval from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services to operate a state-based health insurance exchange.

This is a key milestone in the establishment of the state’s online health insurance marketplace, which opens for enrollment Oct. 1, 2013.

“This is great news for Hawaii. The approval reflects that Hawaii is still in the forefront of health insurance exchanges nationwide and highlights the collaborative spirit that enabled us to achieve this milestone on time,” said Coral Andrews, executive director of the Hawaii Health Connector. “While there is still much work to be done, we are confident that we will meet the necessary requirements to open our doors for business nine months from now, on Oct. 1, 2013.”

To receive conditional approval, the Connector was required to demonstrate significant progress in the development of the state-based health insurance exchange.

The Hawaii Health Connector is currently working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), the Governor’s Office and Administrative Departments, the Legislature and the community to ensure that Hawaii is on track to establish its health insurance exchange by Oct. 1, 2013 for open enrollment, and plans going into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

As part of the conditional approval, an agreement was also developed that outlines the timeline for expected milestones and regular progress reviews to ensure all remaining requirements are met.

“This conditional approval validates our collaboration in getting the insurance exchange up and running and our commitment to the Affordable Care Act and its promise for universal coverage and better health,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “Through the Connector, individuals and small businesses will have access to a transparent marketplace that provides quality health insurance choices.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must approve or conditionally approve state-based Exchanges by Jan. 1, 2013, for operation in 2014.

The Hawaii Health Connector is the online health insurance exchange for Hawaii. The Connector was established as a non-profit organization in 2011 by the Hawaii State Legislature through Act 205, in order to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010.

The Connector’s aim is an online marketplace that is of Hawaii-for-Hawaii, one that takes into account the State’s unique culture and works with the Prepaid Health Care Act, an employer mandate for health insurance coverage in effect since 1974.

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