HONOLULU — Leon Hamili has no medical coverage.
So when HawaiiHealthConnector.com launched Tuesday promising coverage to people with pre-existing conditions under Obamacare, he eagerly went to the health care exchange to sign up.
Hamili, a former instrumentation technical applications specialist with the U.S. Department of Defense at Pearl Harbor, with his wife runs a small business, Hamili-Akina and Associates, in Waipio.
He spent 11 hours the first day and two more hours Wednesday trying to fill out an application on the exchange.
Hamili said connector operators told him he was one of many people continuously kicked off the system’s website.
The help-line operator on the first day had no advice for Hamili, other than to keep trying.
The second day, another operator told him about some glitches for people applying for federal health care subsides. The connector would send someone from one of its 34 community partner agencies to his home to help, he was told.
So far, Hamili hasn’t heard back.
Hawaii lawmakers plan a briefing Wednesday to look into problems related to the Hawaii Health Connector services.
HMAA isn’t participating in the Obamacare network but rather will compete privately in the marketplace, as it has for 25 years, he said.
“It is disappointing but not a big surprise that the Hawaii Connector is not currently working as expected,” Baker said.
Andrews directed applicants to contact one of the connector’s partner agencies to sign up in person and learn about options.
Watchdog.org tried to contact some of the partner agencies Wednesday, including Li’s Translation services, the agency listed for residents living near the state Capitol, in downtown Honolulu, in Kalihi and other nearby areas.
No one answered the phone throughout the day, and there was no way to leave a message.
Watchdog could find no information about the company on the Internet. The owner is using a Hotmail account as the official email for the company.
Hawaii Health Connector also wouldn’t answer questions Wednesday about Li’s Translation Services, a company that will be trusted with applicants’ personal, medical and financial information.
Hamili’s company provided health care for its full-time employees as is required under Hawaii law, but when Hamili was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and given just 30 days to live two years ago, the couple had to lay off workers, and their small business medical plan with Kaiser Permanente was terminated.
Hamili and his wife re-applied for individual coverage with Kaiser; she was granted coverage, but he was turned down because of the pre-existing condition.
Hamili’s cancer is in remission, but he has undergone costly treatment and rehabilitation therapy.
Reach Malia Zimmerman at Malia@watchdog.org