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Hawaii health exchange website has rough start on first day

By Kristen Consillio

LAST UPDATED: 11:56 p.m. HST, Oct 15, 2013

Hawaii's health insurance exchange had a rough start on its first day of allowing consumers to enroll in medical coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The Hawaii Health Connector website was working after noon Tuesday, showing plan options with prices for the first time. But by 1 p.m., visitors to the home page, www.hawaiihealthconnector.com, received a one-line message: "This website is temporarily unavailable, please try again."

"We're currently experiencing high traffic to our site," the Connector announced on Twitter, requesting people contact the call center for assistance. "We're working to address the issue."

About a half hour later, the website was working again.

Hawaii Health Connector officials had said Monday that the online marketplace would be operational with 95 plans available for people to compare and purchase by late morning.

The website was scheduled to allow consumers to shop for health plans two weeks ago, but it was not ready for the Oct. 1 launch because of computer problems.

Coral Andrews, executive director of the nonprofit Connector, held an early-afternoon press conference to discuss details of the marketplace created by President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"This is a big milestone for the Hawaii Health Connector," Andrews said Tuesday. "For me personally, this has been a personal commitment of mine. The Hawaii Health Connector has now gone live around 10:30 this morning. It's a giant leap forward."

As of last week Hawaii was the only state in the nation that had not made prices and policies available to consumers via an exchange website.

The health reform law requires most citizens to get health coverage next year or face tax penalties.

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false wrote:
Is anyone surprised? After all, government is so efficient......at wasting money!
on October 15,2013 | 12:14PM
frontman wrote:
And this cost the taxpayers $500,000................... failure, just like obama.
on October 15,2013 | 01:32PM
PCWarrior wrote:
And this state is going to build rail on time and on budget. Right.
on October 15,2013 | 03:52PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Hahaha. The sky is falling, losers.
on October 15,2013 | 05:56PM
HOSSANA wrote:
What do you expect from government bureacracy??? IGNORANCE, STUPIDITY, INCOMPETENCE AT ITS HIGHEST LEVEL and yet the salaries they make are outrageous at the expense of the taxpayers.......
on October 15,2013 | 12:17PM
joseph007 wrote:
lets not forget that civilian contractors wrote the code and website. government hired them to do a job and they failed. not the problem with the gov't but the contractors. should not get paid and get fired. does show that many many people want health insurance.
on October 15,2013 | 01:02PM
false wrote:
joseph007: Yes, the Government hired them to do a job and the failed. Where was the supervision? The responsibility is the Government's and the fault lies there.
on October 15,2013 | 01:18PM
Nevadan wrote:
007 is not thinking, or cannot think
on October 15,2013 | 02:09PM
inlanikai wrote:
The 15 members of the Board of Directors were appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the state Senate. To obsolve the government of any responsibility for this fiasco is ludicrous.
on October 15,2013 | 01:28PM
bigd wrote:
This board for the most part has done everything it can to prevent the Connector to get up and running. DHS head and HMSA lobbyist are just 2 members of the board who are doing their best to make it fail for conflicting interests. Must be a very weak chair to allow this dysfunctional board to behave this way. For the Connector staff to accomplish what they have in this environment is actually quite remarkable.
on October 15,2013 | 02:14PM
inverse wrote:
What is this spin city? Worried about job security when the ax falls?
on October 15,2013 | 03:44PM
inverse wrote:
If you believe that then you blame all of UH's football problems on the players and not the coaches. That would be a mistake.
on October 15,2013 | 03:41PM
false wrote:
on October 15,2013 | 12:27PM
Anonymous wrote:
get adblock
on October 15,2013 | 02:32PM
false wrote:
on October 15,2013 | 12:27PM
false wrote:
on October 15,2013 | 12:27PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
on October 15,2013 | 05:58PM
kiheilocal wrote:
Crazy. Why would the officials say it would be operational this morning and when I went on line and chatted with the representative she sounded like she didnt know what I was talking about and had to verify with some one then tell me to check back in the future. Frustrating, aggravating and SAD. Ive been looking forward to this for months as I have an individual plan and pay ALOT right now and am looking for some relief next year. This situation does not inspire confidence.
on October 15,2013 | 12:29PM
false wrote:
The State IT people sound incompetent.
on October 15,2013 | 12:31PM
XML808 wrote:
The Health Connector is an independent entity created by a grant from the Federal government. If it were the State, then it wouldn't even have a website yet!
on October 15,2013 | 12:36PM
inlanikai wrote:
With a Board appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate. To say it is "independent" is absurd.
on October 15,2013 | 01:30PM
XML808 wrote:
You are correct. However, my comment was intended to distinguish between a program under state jurisdiction and an independent entity. I might add that the Health Connector, as far as I know, does not need to adhere to the requirements of the State of Hawaii procurement laws and transparency. Thus, there is not legal oversight. Hence, they can do as they please.
on October 15,2013 | 06:39PM
mitt_grund wrote:
According to one of the conservative websites, the IT website contractor also did the primary fed website. The fed website was found to be unsecured, allowing the relatively easy compromising of personal data submitted. Want to bet the Hawaii Health Connector is similarly unsafe? Might want to wait until the sh* hits the fan, and the security issues worked out before getting too enamored of trying the site out.
on October 15,2013 | 05:59PM
PokeStop wrote:
SA, could have told you that it wouldn't be up and working! Incompetency at it's best! Hawaii is a joke, they should purge this state of all idiots starting with Neal Ambercrombie, Hanabusa, Hirono, Schatzie Boy, Gabbard, Carol Andrews, Rick Budar, and the biggest clown....Norm Chow!
on October 15,2013 | 12:32PM
Ddnkk4ever wrote:
This is so typical of Hawaii....last at everything. Always late...late doing maintenance on water/sewage pipes, late on road repairs, and only 2 decades late on mass transit. Most beautiful place in the United States to live, but the worst government
on October 15,2013 | 12:36PM
PokeStop wrote:
Hawaiian Time! And yet, only thing local residents are proud of is speaking pidgin!
on October 15,2013 | 12:49PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Hey Poke, I'm local. My family and I are proud to be able to articulate ourselves. There are many things I'm proud of, such as NOT speaking pidgin.
on October 15,2013 | 05:19PM
Lou7 wrote:
Will be interesting to see if Hawaii gets 100,000 to sign up.
on October 15,2013 | 12:44PM
toad103410 wrote:
Lou7, are you kidding me?!
on October 15,2013 | 01:46PM
LRob69 wrote:
And its back down again.....
on October 15,2013 | 12:46PM
flyonthewall1 wrote:
Still doesn't work for me as of 12:50 p.m. www.hawaiihealthconnector.com
on October 15,2013 | 12:50PM
TLehel wrote:
As if I'm gonna sign up for this horrible cr­ap. $5 says it will go down again soon.
on October 15,2013 | 12:53PM
EastsideHomies wrote:
Go to: https://www.connecthawaii.com
on October 15,2013 | 12:55PM
toad103410 wrote:
Computer problems, computer problems. LOL. Give us a break!
on October 15,2013 | 01:13PM
frontman wrote:
And this cost the taxpayers $500,000................... failure, just like obama.
on October 15,2013 | 01:32PM
toad103410 wrote:
Agree completely frontman. I also think that the House Republicans should quit making defunding Obamacare their primary objective before ending the shutdown and the budget crisis. The program is self destructing on it's own. Move on already.
on October 15,2013 | 01:56PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
frontman wrote: "And this cost the taxpayers $500,000"


It cost $54 million. The amount of waste, incompetence and fraud is breathtaking. All to give the poor and uninformed the opportunity to pay 2% more than they would if they just went to HMSA's WORKING website.

on October 15,2013 | 04:18PM
Kuokoa wrote:
Maybe that's a sign we should not have Obamacare.
on October 15,2013 | 01:41PM
NuuanuMama wrote:
Why are other insurers like UHA not included? Something fishy about this.
on October 15,2013 | 02:01PM
Anonymous wrote:
or Humana
on October 15,2013 | 02:24PM
Anonymous wrote:
Still no word from the hippy dippy
on October 15,2013 | 02:19PM
islandsun wrote:
Too bad this group keeps dropping the ball. But Abrocrombie is a ball dropper anyway. No surprise.
on October 15,2013 | 02:22PM
maafifloos wrote:
Governor, legislators, appointees, supervisors, etc. Listen to the happy citizens!
on October 15,2013 | 04:59PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Cry all you like. I'll wait a while until I try to log in.
on October 15,2013 | 05:21PM
mitt_grund wrote:
OK, the independent IT entity (read: private sector) is incompetent with respect to the website. The board appointed by governor abercrombie is derelict in its oversight, and the biggest idi*t is governor abercrombie who has a swollen head anyway, and like Hannemann and Hitler can do no wrong.
on October 15,2013 | 05:37PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Well, sure Hawaii’s health exchange website had a tough time getting started. After all, it had only three years to prepare.
on October 15,2013 | 05:41PM
ResponsibleCitizen wrote:
Why are so many of you surprised this doesn't work properly or efficiently? long lines at DMV? roads that are decrepit and seem to be 'in repair' indefinitely? 'easy' tax returns? Lol.....
on October 16,2013 | 03:53AM
richierich wrote:
Is anyone surprised that the Honolulu Star Advertiser failed to mention the fact they they are the vendor that built the health connector website?
on October 19,2013 | 08:35AM
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