Hawaii Health Connector online, in limited capacity - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii Health Connector online, in limited capacity

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Despite the government shutdown, health care programs that are part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, rolled out in parts of the country Tuesday including in Hawaii.

The Hawaii Health Connector went online as scheduled, but in limited capacity.

Customers were able to browse the website, get questions answered and fill out an application, but were not able to shop different health care plans.

"We will not bring out anything that is not ready. As people are aware with every IT project, bringing something out early is just a bigger headache to deal with later" said Hawaii Health Connector Chief Marketing Officer Rick Budar.

The IT issue that delayed the rollout wasn't expected, but wasn't unsurprising either, according to one internet security expert.

"Service providers are taking the necessary precautions, basically to protect the consumers, and the public who subscribes to these services" said Chris Duque, former Cybercrimes Detective for the Honolulu Police Department.

"It's not uncommon for such a huge rollout, especially if it involves personal identifiers" he added.

Early in the day, it was reported that the plans would be online by Friday, but Budar backed off that assessment.

"We are being extremely careful, and we will bring plans out when they are ready" he said, adding that there is no set date for which the public can expect the plans to be online.

Budar did say that the Connector hopes to have the plans online within a month, giving people ample opportunity to shop plans during the open enrollment period, which runs through December. Coverage begins in 2014.

The Hawaii Health Connector will not be affected by the government shutdown, as it has been fully funded through the end of 2014.

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