Governor to Set up Well being Alternate in Hawaii

Hawaii is the first state to set up an insurance exchange offering individuals and small businesses the option to choose health insurance, Governor Neil Abercrombie said Wednesday.

State officials said the exchange, dubbed the Hawaii Health Connector, will meet the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

This federal law, also known as “Obamacare,” requires states to have insurance exchanges in place by 2014, when the law goes into effect.

“By January 1, 2014, Hawaii will have a level playing field for individuals and small businesses to access affordable health insurance,” said Donalyn Dela Cruz, spokeswoman for Abercrombie, in a statement.

Coral Andrews, a retired U.S. Navy captain and nurse and former vice president of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, has been named executive director of Hawaii Health Connector.


“We are very focused on establishing the exchange as state and making sure that the connector is from and for Hawaii,” she said.


The connection must be approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for consumer information and insurance supervision.

However, Obamacare’s future remains uncertain. Trials of the law are now in the US Supreme Court.

Forbes magazine reported today that according to market research firm Intrade, there is a 69.9% probability that the court will remove at least the individual mandate portion of the law. This is the part of the law that requires almost everyone to get health insurance.


Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, however, argues in today’s issue of Christian Science Monitor that while some analysts believe it will end Obamacare, he believes it would lead to calls for changes to the law to protect the Obligation to insure people with pre-existing people to eliminate diseases.

But this clause is so popular with the public that it would likely force Congress to “let insurers off the hook on pre-existing terms” by only allowing Americans to opt for Medicare or something similar, Reich said.

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