(Los Angeles Times) As the Hawaii Legislature weighs bills that would make sweeping changes to the state's Obamacare program, the interim director of Hawaii's healthcare exchange on Wednesday laid out a grim financial picture facing the agency.
With anemic enrollment by individuals and little interest among small-business employers, the state's nonprofit exchange -- known as the Hawaii Health Connector -- is unlikely to have enough money to pay its bills, even under the best of circumstances, when federal grant money dries up in 2015.
The exchange had originally planned to stay afloat by collecting a 2% fee on every plan sold through the exchange, but with the slow pace of enrollment and changing federal rules -- delaying the employer mandate and allowing canceled plans to continue -- Interim Director Tom Matsuda said Wednesday that the math simply does not add up.
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Last week, Matsuda and the Health Connector's board members used expected enrollments by 2016, as well as the average premium costs, to calculate how much the exchange could collect by exacting its 2% fee on each plan.