Tags: Fox News | Healthcare Reform | Hawaii | Obamacare | exchange | forfeiting

Report: Hawaii's $205 Million Obamacare Exchange Collapsing

By    |   Friday, 15 May 2015 10:20 PM

The state-based healthcare exchange set up for Hawaiians under the Affordable Care Act is in financial and technological free fall despite a federal investment exceeding $200 million, Fox News reports.

The situation is so dire the federal government has ordered the state to draw up a contingency plan for shutting down Hawaii Health Connector and migrating an estimated 37,000 to 40,000 customers to the federal Obamacare exchange, HealthCare.gov, Fox reports.

The state responded with a blueprint to discontinue operations by Sept. 30 and lay off all staff — this after the Hawaiian legislature declined to fill in funding gaps caused in part by far fewer people than anticipated using the site to purchase coverage, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports.

Technical difficulties also continue to plague the state site, and Hawaii is in danger of forfeiting $1 billion in federal health funds as a result of the ongoing financial and IT issues, Fox reports.

The federal government dedicated $205 million to Hawaii for establishment of its exchange, most of which has been spent. But the site's costly woes have been so persistent, and initial enrollment was so far below projections, that at one point Hawaii had the dubious distinction of running the nation's most costly exchange — at almost $24,000 per person enrolled, Fox reports.

"The $200 million was a complete waste of tax dollars that could have been used for much more productive efforts," Reg Baker, a Hawaiian CPA and former chief financial officer for a Hawaii-based health insurance company, told Fox.

Hawaii is at risk of joining six other states – Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont – in shuttering Obamacare sites.

Baker told Fox that Hawaii's exchange is failing because "customers did not see the value of the product they were trying to sell."

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The state-based healthcare exchange set up for Hawaiians under the Affordable Care Act is in financial and technological free fall despite a federal investment exceeding $200 million, Fox News reports.
Hawaii, Obamacare, exchange, forfeiting
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2015-20-15
Friday, 15 May 2015 10:20 PM
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