Hawaii Federal Affordable Insurance Funding

December 9, 2011

Hawaii is receiving funding from the federal government for an affordable health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. We are one of thirteen states scheduled to be granted funds for this purpose, and will receive $14.4 million.

What is an affordable health insurance “exchange?” It will basically serve as a marketplace where consumers can choose private health insurance plans.

The money will be going to the Insurance Division within the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. They will create the Hawaii Health Connector, which will be a web-based clearinghouse for federally qualified health and dental plans for individuals and small businesses. Hopefully with all that funding, they can make their website user-friendly, a factor that so many government websites seem to neglect.

The money that Hawaii is getting is just one slice of the $220 million allocated for all thirteen of the states being awarded the funds. According to the Health and Human Services Secretary, the federal government plans to give states flexibility in how they implement these changes. Every state is different, and each may need their efforts tailored for their specific needs. The bottom line is that an exchange needs to make it easy to compare and shop for insurance plans.

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