The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows states to apply for waivers to certain provisions of the act. Waivers must ensure that at least as many people have health insurance coverage that is at least as comprehensive and affordable as required under the ACA, and must not cost the federal government any more than it would have paid for subsidies and tax credits if there had been no waiver. Among other aspects, waivers may change or eliminate insurance exchanges, qualified health plan, and essential health benefits.
While Hawaii has enjoyed many benefits included in the ACA, some of the insurance exchange requirements of the federal act have confused or conflicted with Hawaii laws and policies that have resulted in our near-universal coverage and sophisticated health insurance marketplace. An Innovation Waiver to the ACA can provide us opportunities to improve coverage, access, affordability and accountability across our health care system.
In 2014, the state Legislature passed HB 2581, which was signed into law as Act 158. The purpose of the legislation was to create a task force to develop an ACA-compliant State Innovation Waiver to be implemented when permitted under federal law: no sooner than January 1, 2017. For more details about the task force, its purpose, and its members, please see the authorizing legislation here: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2014/bills/GM1261_.PDF
Meeting notices and agendas, minutes, public comments and testimony, and other materials related to the task force will be posted here. Meeting notices will also be posted with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and at http://calendar.ehawaii.gov, as required by law. Members of the public are encouraged to submit written comment. Written testimony related to an agenda for an upcoming meeting is requested at least three days in advance of the meeting and should specify which agenda item it addresses. Written comments should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACA Report on Public Hearings: View reports which includes the presentation and public hearing notices here.
Written Public Comments/Testimony
Reports to the Legislature