Hawaii’s health insurance exchange has awarded $6.7 million in grants to 34 community organizations tasked with educating the public about new options for health insurance under the federal health reform law known as Obamacare.
The Hawaii Health Connector, the online marketplace that will match qualified individuals with subsidized health plans, said the money will be used to hire 191 so-called marketplace assisters to help consumers and small businesses on each island.
Open enrollment for the Connector begins October 1 for new health policies effective Jan. 1.
The Connector is the only place consumers and businesses will be able to apply for tax subsidies to offset the cost of health insurance. It also will identify and help enroll people in Medicaid, the government health insurance program for low-income residents.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s landmark legislation, Americans must have insurance of face tax penalties.
The grant award recipients are:
>> County of Kauai Agency on Elderly Affairs
>> Faith Action for Community Equity Maui
>> Faith Action for Community Equity Oahu
>> Hamakua Health Center Inc.
>> Hawaii Island Workforce & Economic Development ʻOhana Inc.
>> Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation
>> Helping Hands Hawaii
>> Hoʻola Lāhui Hawaiʻi
>> Honolulu Community Action Program
>> HOPE Services Hawaii, Inc.
>> Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi
>> Hui No Ke Ola Pono
>> Institute for Human Services, Inc.
>> Kaʻu Rural Health
>> Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association
>> Kauai Economic Opportunity
>> Ke Ola Mamo
>> Koʻolauloa Community Health & Wellness Center
>> Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
>> Lānaʻi Community Health Center
>> Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi
>> Liʻs Company
>> Molokai Community Health Center
>> Nā Puʻuwai, Inc.
>> North Hawaii Community Hospital
>> Project Vision Hawaii
>> Rolf Advertising
>> The ARC of Hilo
>> The Bay Clinic, Inc.
>> Wahiawa Center for Community Health
>> Waianae Coast Community Mental Health Center, Inc.
>> Waimanalo Health Center
>> West Hawaii Community Health Center