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Hawaii Health Connector director testifies before Obama health care oversight committee

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:10 p.m. HST, Apr 03, 2014



The head of the Hawaii Health Connector testified about the troubled insurance exchange Thursday before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is investigating the roll out of Obamacare.

"The Connector's total enrollment, to date, is low -- especially as compared to other state-based marketplaces," said Tom Matsuda, interim executive director of the exchange, the cornerstone of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Matsuda told the U.S. Congresional panel, which included Hawaii Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, that Hawaii's low enrollment had to do with its low number of uninsured largely due to the 1974 Prepaid Health Care Act, which requires employers provide insurance for full-time workers. There is only an estimated 8 percent uninsured, or about 100,000 people, he said.

He also acknowledged other reasons for the low number of enrollments, including a backlog of 11,000 Connector applicants who have started, but not completed applications.

Hawaii's health insurance exchange signed up 7,861 individuals and employees in Obamacare coverage as of the deadline to enroll Monday.






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