Hawaii lawmakers seek cash for health insurance exchange - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii lawmakers seek cash for health insurance exchange

By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are looking for ways to prop up the state's financially struggling health exchange and they're considering cash from the general fund.

All state-run insurance exchanges that are part of the Affordable Care Act must be financially sustainable this year. But the Hawaii Health Connector doesn't have enough money for its operations.

That leaves the exchange vulnerable to a partial federal takeover, a risk lawmakers say they're not willing to take.

The head of Hawaii's exchange had wanted to issue $28 million in state-backed bonds or loans. But that proposal fizzled after the Department of Budget and Finance expressed concerns.

Now Rep. Angus McKelvey says lawmakers are considering a $5 million cash infusion from the state's general fund. Lawmakers are discussing the exchange Thursday.

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