Feds will take over IT for Hawaii Health Connector's troubled we - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Feds will take over IT for Hawaii Health Connector's troubled website

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The feds are stepping in to help out with Hawaii Health Connector's troubled website.  State officials say this won't make a big difference
to connector customers but it's another indication of serious problems the program needs to overcome.
  
Friday officials said the state agreed to let Washington be the conduit to health coverage while Hawaii Heath Connector gets its act together.

 If the federal government doesn't release grant money the Connector's executive director says the program will be out of funds by the
end of next month.
 
"We're working with the federal governor's office and our state partners to achieve a satisfactory result of unrestriction of funds,"
said Jeffrey Kissel.
 
In the meantime the state is transferring it's IT infrastructure to the federal insurance exchange.  It's a change that's going to impact
about 38,000 people.  Lani Hink is one of them. 
 
Since the start of the year the Big Island resident has been at odds with both Hawaii Health Connector and her insurance company Kaiser.
 
"They couldn't actually give us prices for anything.  I had to pick a plan with out knowing what it was going to cost," said Hink.
 
Because she couldn't get a clear cut answer on what her bill would be she changed her plan from the one she had the previous year.
 
"I ended up with two accounts and I was getting two bills every month starting in January," said Hink.
    

After six months and countless phone calls the problem still hasn't been fixed. 

Unresolved IT issues like Hink's are only part of the problem.  Other violations include lack of funding and the fact the feds say the
connector doesn't work well with the state's Medicade program.
 
In a meeting Friday afternoon state officials said the agency is working to get into compliance with the Affordable Care Act.
 
"We are still in continued conversations with the federal agencies that oversee the connector," said Department of Human Services Director
Rachel Wong.
 
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