Report from the Hawaii Health Connector – The Hawaii Health Connector (Connector) announced today that it has received a $128,086,634.00 Level 2 multi-year funded grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This award will fund the customer service call center, consumer assistance program and general maintenance and operations of the Connector through December 2014. In March, the Connector announced requests for proposals for both the call center and printing and mailing services in preparation for the October 1, 2013 go live date. To date, Hawaii has received approximately $205 million dollars in federal grant money to support the build and implementation of the Connector. The Connector is currently 100 percent federally funded through December 2014.
“This federal grant will help to inform the people of Hawaii about the Hawaii Health Connector and how it will provide greater access to health care coverage,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “The Connector continues to be an important part of the community’s efforts to transform healthcare in our state.”
“Implementing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in our state will continue to be a top priority,” said Senator Brian Schatz. “Last month marked three years since this important law was enacted, and we’ve already seen thousands of people across the country receive access to affordable care and preventative services. This funding is critical for a call center and consumer assistance program that will help Hawaii families make important choices about the care they receive.”
“Today’s funding announcement for Hawaii Health Connector is great news for Hawaii families and our economy,” said Senator Mazie K. Hirono. “I was proud to join President Obama in his fight to make health care more affordable for all families, and the Hawaii Health Connector is a key step in lowering the health care costs for families here in the islands.”
“The strength of this federal grant is that it reaches all residents in Hawaii,” said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa. “The consumer assistance program will help individuals and small business owners compare and navigate their health insurance choices. I’m especially grateful that we’re helping Hawaii’s many small businesses, and that this cornerstone of our economy will have access to quality health care.”
“The $128 million awarded to Hawaii Health Connector today, shows Hawaii is prepared and taking the lead nationally,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Ensuring access and availability to health care throughout our state, especially for those in our underserved communities, will help them obtain the quality care they deserve.”
“The funding will help to address the unmet needs of the uninsured throughout the State.” State Senator Rosalyn Baker said. “The Hawaii Health Connector is to be congratulated in developing leading edge, public-private partnership and interagency collaboration models which can be applied in the future.”
“The Hawaii Health Connector is of Hawaii, for Hawaii. Our board and staff are diligently working to make sure the Connector is built to provide better access to health care coverage to everyone in our state,” said Hardy Spoehr, Hawaii Health Connector’s board chair. “We believe this funding will provide greater opportunities for the public to learn about health insurance options, tax credits and subsidies available through the Connector.”
“The Connector remains focused on our mission to provide a state based health insurance exchange that is committed to supporting the unique needs of our community,” said Coral Andrews, executive director for the Hawaii Health Connector. “Along with our federal and state partners, we are working to enhance, empower and improve lives throughout the state by making health insurance accessible to all.”
The Hawaii Health Connector is the online health insurance exchange for Hawaii. The Connector was established as a non-profit organization in 2011 by the Hawaii State Legislature through Act 205, in order to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010. The Connector’s aim is an online marketplace that is of Hawaii-for-Hawaii, one that takes into account the State’s unique culture and works with the Prepaid Health Care Act, an employer mandate for health insurance coverage in effect since 1974. For more information, visit www.hawaiihealthconnector.com.