Hawaii Health Exchange Sign Ups Dismal, Costly to Taxpayers

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Taxpayers have spent $200 million to establish the network for the Affordable Care Act in Hawaii – $53 million on just the Hawaii Health Connector web site development and management alone.

However, so far, just 257 individuals have secured healthcare through the exchange.


Some 113 employers submitted applications though the exchange, but have not yet selected plan.

Connector Deputy Executive Director Eric Alborg released the numbers for the first time at a Hawaii Health Connector board meeting on Friday.

Despite repeated requests from the media, Hawaii was among the last three states to disclose these figures.

While Hawaii Health Connector executives were hoping to reach a 300,000 enrollment over the next couple of years, and at least sign up the 100,000 people without any medical coverage in Hawaii, critics say the numbers have been dismal.

The current cost breakdown is about $778,000 in federal funds for each individual who successfully signed up for healthcare.

That follows a national trend. Just 106,000 people across America selected medical plans through Healthcare.gov in October.

Hawaii was the last state to successfully launch its online exchange after software glitches and a lack of data kept the site, Hawaiihealthconnector.com, from working properly for more than two weeks past the initial launch deadline of October 1.

Individuals and small businesses without insurance must enroll by December 15 for coverage that begins January 1.

Meanwhile as many as 30,000 Hawaii residents with individual plans and 140,000 people under small business plans were scheduled to lose their insurance plans as of January 1.

That is until Friday, when Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito asked Hawaii health insurance companies to continue offering plans that were going to be cancelled by the end of the year because they did not meet federal coverage requirements under the new Affordable Care Act mandates.

This followed President Obama’s announcement Thursday that his administration will reverse its policy that led to millions of Americans losing their health insurance.





    • Don't forget you have to start an application just to see what the choices are. So those 3100 include people who are just curious, including reporters and researchers from all over the country trying to figure out what Hawaii is offering.

      It also includes people signing up multiple times because the website wasn't working.

  1. "Taxpayers have spent $200 million to establish the network for the Affordable Care Act in Hawaii….."


    A small but critical distinction here: Taxpayers didn't spend a dime. Government bureaucrats spent $200 million confiscated from the paychecks of productive employees.

  2. […] second worst state in the nation for spending money registering people into the system. Hawaii has spent three quarters of a million dollars on each person who successfully filled out an application. Which, I’m sure, those people would have preferred to get in a lump […]

  3. The department is taking this step to prevent further illness and protect Hawaii residents and visitors, and may take more stringent legal action if needed. We will continue to work with our federal partners at CDC and FDA on this issue.
    Dr. Chaney: Gluten Free Coach

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