HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Health Connector — Hawaii’s public exchange — hopes to start offering information about plans and pricing to consumers through its website by Oct. 15.
But Coral Andrews, the exchange executive director, said Wednesday that there are no guarantees.
Andrews told state lawmakers at a hearing that getting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange site running properly has been a fluid situation, with circumstances changing every day.
“We want to make sure that we’re doing it the right way,” Andrews said after testifying for more than an hour before a panel of lawmakers representing three House and three Senate committees.
The exchange site hasn’t been able to sell any insurance because of software problems. Consumers can’t see plans, even though a variety of options from two insurers have been approved for sale through the exchange.
Consumers can submit basic information using a web form, and the exchange promises to have someone contact them in a few weeks. As a workaround, some people are going directly to insurance companies to find out about plans, even though buying plans from insurance companies directly means consumers won’t be able to get tax subsidies or other help they might qualify for.
Andrews said the exchange is required by statute to have its insurance providers validate how rates and plans are presented to consumers before they’re rolled out publicly. She said testing on individual plans is complete, while testing on small business plans is ongoing.