Health insurance exchange to take root in Hawaii

Governor Neil Abercrombie

Governor Neil Abercrombie

Gov. Abercrombie declares intent to build exchange

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie has announced that the state will have a functioning health insurance exchange despite the fate of the Affordable Care Act. The health care reform law has been awaiting judgment from the U.S. Supreme Court for over a month. The law was brought before the Court by several states that have questioned its compliance with the country’s Constitution. According to the law, each state must establish its own health insurance exchange, a provision that Hawaii seems to be committed to see realized.

Exchange to provide residents with affordable coverage

According to Abercrombie, the health insurance exchange will be called the Hawaii Health Connector. The exchange will be run by a non-profit corporation of the same name that serves as a pseudo-governmental agency. The corporation was established last year but has remained dormant due to the state’s current lack of a health insurance exchange. Governor Abercrombie notified the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, concerning the state’s intent to create an exchange earlier this month.

Hawaii hopes to avoid federal intervention with exchange plan

The health care law indicates that all states are required to establish a working and self-sustaining health insurance exchange program by 2014. If states fail to meet this standard, the federal government will step in and establish and exchange program. In this case, states that fail to build their own exchange will have no amount of control over one set up by the federal government. This has spurred some states to make aggressive efforts to establish a working program of their own in order to avoid federal intervention.

State committed to exchange regardless of the future of Affordable Care Act

Hawaii officials are expecting to receive financial support from the federal government for its health insurance exchange initiative. The state has already received an amount of funding for the endeavor, but is likely to push for more in the coming months. Currently, the state plans to implement an exchange program even if the Affordable Care Act is completely dismantled by the Supreme Court.

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