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Hawaii Health Connector won't be sustainable after 2014

By Kristen Consillio

LAST UPDATED: 02:26 p.m. HST, Feb 26, 2014

Hawaii's health insurance exchange won't be sustainable beyond this year and will seek to change the existing Affordable Care Act rules for the state, Tom Matsuda, interim executive director of the Hawaii Health Connector, told lawmakers Wednesday.

Hawaii's "market dynamics are not right for an online marketplace of this type" and there is "little chance of the Connector becoming self-sustaining under its current revenue model," Matsuda said.

The current revenue model allows the Connector to collect a 2 percent fee on plans sold on the online marketplace created by President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

"Our revenue projections, using the best available data, and looking at a dozen variables that affect future enrollment, mean that we're not even close to breaking even," he said. "Even with substantial reductions to the estimated $15 million annual operating budget we will not be sustainable."

Matsuda testified before the House Finance Committee, based on the preliminary findings of a sustainability plan by the Connector's board of directors held last week. The sustainability planning process is still under way and the board will be exploring other revenue sources allowed under the Affordable Care Act in its next phase of sustainability planning.

The nonprofit is seeking a one-year extension to use $204.3 million in federal grant funds that expire by year's end. The Connector also will seek a federal waiver in 2017 to alter or modify ACA rules to fit Hawaii's insurance market.

Lawmakers are considering turning the Connector into a state agency after it fumbled the start of the exchange, which went live two weeks after its scheduled Oct. 1 launch due to software problems that continue to plague the system.

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HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Perhaps we should shut down our health exchange and just use the federal healthcare exchange. It seems that after a terrible start the federal exchange seems to be working better.
on February 26,2014 | 12:57PM
kekelaward wrote:
on February 26,2014 | 04:31PM
jomama wrote:
Cannot due to preserving our PrePaid act
on February 26,2014 | 06:21PM
Solara wrote:
PLEASE do NOT convert this into another state agency and burden the public with its funding!
on February 26,2014 | 01:11PM
pridon wrote:
Another fail. At least the interim director has some honesty. The prior adminstrator must have had no clue. The sustainablility aspect should have been apparent from the start. Shut it down now.
on February 26,2014 | 01:17PM
thatsmyname wrote:
on February 26,2014 | 02:01PM
Winston wrote:
Well, the train wreck analogy is a good one. First the engine derails then car after car jack knifes in accordion-like fashion and through out the conductor, in dulcet tones, assures the hapless passengers, "all is well, all is well".

We won WWII in less time than it's taken to create this mess. The first moon landing didn't take much longer, but after almost 30 (unconsititution) executive changes/delays to the Affordable Care Act, after finding that it will incentivize millions NOT to work, after finding that the cost and quality of medical care are headed in opposite directions due to the law, after finding that the pre-election drumbeat of assurances was actually a drumbeat of in your face lies, we have a self-perpetuating train wreck.

Great. Just perfect. And, seeing the results, what is the response? Contrition? A flurry of let's fix this activity? NO. Lie after lie after shameless lie about the law's unintended consequences, lies about the enrollment numbers, lies about the impact on small business, lies about the oncoming wave of cancellations of employer provided insurance.

I have one question for you democrats: When are you going to find your manhood (or womanhood) and put the country's well being first by putting a stop to this disaster?

on February 26,2014 | 03:19PM
markeno wrote:
None of my comments would be fit to print as the Connector was a complete failure for me and my family. In the end, after 30 ... wait.. make that 40 hours online, on the phone on hold... I gave up and paid retail with HMSA. It is beyond me how the neediest of our population could get coverage through the Connector. I have the luxury of working from home so being on hold for 20, maybe 40 minutes is infuriating but what about the person who works two jobs with kids? What I do know, is that someone made a lot of money off of this fiasco and "We the People" simply got screwed.
on February 26,2014 | 04:52PM
jmarie wrote:
Oh my, like I said from the beginning if you voted for Comrade Obama don't cry!!!!!! "Who's John Galt"?!
on February 26,2014 | 05:30PM
soundofreason wrote:
You can only imagine my surprise.
on February 26,2014 | 05:53PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Republicans have been saying for three years that Obamacare would not be sustainable; Democrats have said it would be and proceeded full speed to implement a seriously flawed law. Thank you Democrats for proving that the Republicans were right.
on February 26,2014 | 08:18PM
Coldwater wrote:
The ACA (obama care) became null and void the minute obama made changes to the law without the congress. This mess is all the democrats fault, they lied, the people should hold the democrats to account for it.
on February 26,2014 | 10:22PM
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