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Health exchange enrolls 13,356 in Obamacare coverage

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    For the second year in a row
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The Hawaii Health Connector said 13,356 residents signed up for Obamacare coverage in the three-month enrollment period that ended Sunday.

That compares to roughly 2,100 enrollments in the same time a year ago, said Jeff Kissel, executive director of the exchange created by the Affordable Care Act to enroll people in health insurance.

Kissel added that an estimated 3,000 applications in process were delayed due to glitches with the Internal Revenue Service and other federal data hubs the Connector uses to verify income. In addition, there are still some paper applications yet to be processed.

“Because they were experiencing congestion we had some delay, but our system functioned the whole time,” he said. “As long as they got in process before midnight (Sunday), we’re not going to turn them away before they complete the process. Our objective is to get everybody enrolled who wants to be enrolled.”

For those unable to get through to the call center or enroll online, they may still have a chance to get coverage on a “case-by-case basis,” Kissel said.

Coverage starts March 1 for those who signed up by Feb. 15. Residents with incomes above federal poverty and do not obtain health coverage face an IRS penalty of $325 per person or 2 percent of household income, whichever is greater.

In total, Kissel said there are approximately 23,000 individuals who selected plans for 2015.

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