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Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Thursday, July 24, 2014



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Posted: Monday, March 24th, 2014 12:01 PM HST

Hawai`i health-exchange money request denied

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Officials from Hawai`i Health Connector have asked for more time to spend what remains of about $205 million in federal funds, but the federal government denied the request. Most of the money has to be spent by the end of 2014.

Spokesman Bobby Lambrix says Hawai`i Health Connector has spent roughly $100 million of federal funds so far. He says it can't just draw down the remaining $105 million and save it for the future, because every expense has to be approved for specific purposes, and the money can't just be set aside for future operating expenses.

Enrollment in the Connector has been much slower than anticipated, so revenues have been low. Nearly 5,400 people had bought individual insurance through the exchange by March 15, up by about 400 from a week ago. Software problems and a delay in open enrollment led some people to skip the exchange altogether and buy plans directly from insurance companies to meet the March 31 federal deadline to enroll in coverage.



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