By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii Health Connector is letting go of staff and has lost a key contractor as it transitions to partial federal control of the exchange.
Connector CEO Jeff Kissel said Friday that the federal government is still withholding grant money that exchange officials were expecting to be released.
The board of the exchange voted two weeks ago to shut down the employer side of the exchange and transition its individual users to the federal website healthcare.gov.
They did so because the exchange isn't financially sustainable, which is a requirement of the Affordable Care Act.
Meanwhile, contractor Turning Point has suspended its work for the exchange because it hasn't been paid. Turning Point has been responsible for ensuring that the exchange is complying with the law and spending taxpayer money appropriately.