Hawaii health exchange costs likely to fall

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - The executive director of Hawaii's health insurance marketplace says the cost of running the exchange is likely to fall below $15 million annually because of low enrollment.

Tom Matsuda of the Hawaii Health Connector said at a hearing Wednesday that the exchange is working on a business plan that should be ready in two months. He says officials are working to finish it sooner.

The report could affect how lawmakers consider bills to overhaul how Hawaii sells insurance plans under President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul.

The beleaguered exchange has had problems since signups were supposed to begin in October, including software problems, a two-week delay and low enrollment.

Lawmakers have proposed several fixes, including absorbing the exchange into a state agency.

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