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Monday, August 5, 2013
HMSA, Kaiser Front Group Pays off 'Community Partners'
By News Release @ 2:51 PM :: 4285 Views :: Health Care

Hawai‘i Health Connector Invests in Community Partners

Reality: HMSA, Kaiser Will Monopolize State Health Exchange, 'Rate Shock' Predicted

News Release from Hawai`i Health Connector August 5, 2013

The Hawai‘i Health Connector today announced that it is partnering with 34 community organizations throughout the state for participation in the Connector’s Hiʻi Ola Marketplace Assister program.  ( help sell HMSA and Kaiser policies paid for by you, the taxpayer.)  Open enrollment for the Connector begins in October, and grants have been awarded to support marketplace assisters, known as Kōkua, whom will serve an integral role in reaching and educating individuals, families and small business owners.

“A statewide, community-based approach to informing and assisting residents with their health care is a goal this administration takes seriously,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.  “This model of community reinvestment helps transform Hawai‘i’s health care on all islands.”

The Connector’s marketplace assister grants were awarded to community partners through a competitive grant application process. These grants will support outreach and education efforts as to the benefits of the marketplace, facilitate enrollment in health insurance plans and provide job opportunities for residents.  Marketplace assisters will help consumers located on every island, and will provide impartial information about plan options.  Additional grant opportunities will be available in the future.

The grant award recipients include:

·      County of Kauai Agency on Elderly Affairs
·      Faith Action for Community Equity Maui
·      Faith Action for Community Equity Oahu
·      Hamakua Health Center, Inc.
·      Hawaiʻi Island Workforce & Economic Development ʻOhana, Inc.
·      Hawaiʻi Island HIV/AIDS Foundation
·      Helping Hands Hawaiʻi
·      Hoʻola Lāhui Hawaiʻi
·      Honolulu Community Action Program
·      HOPE Services Hawaiʻi, Inc.
·      Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi
·      Hui No Ke Ola Pono
·      Institute for Human Services, Inc.
·      Kaʻu Rural Health
·      Kalanihale
·      Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association
·      Kauai Economic Opportunity
·      Ke Ola Mamo
·      Koʻolauloa Community Health & Wellness Center
·      Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
·      Lānaʻi Community Health Center
·      Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi
·      Liʻs Company
·      Molokai Community Health Center
·      Nā Puʻuwai, Inc.
·      North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital
·      Project Vision Hawaiʻi
·      Rolf Advertising
·      The ARC of Hilo
·      The Bay Clinic, Inc.
·      Wahiawa Center for Community Health
·      Waianae Coast Community Mental Health Center, Inc.
·      Waimanalo Health Center
·      West Hawaiʻi Community Health Center

“People understand that these organizations have close connections to their communities,” said Coral Andrews, Hawai‘i Health Connector’s executive director.  “By partnering with these organizations, we can now provide Hawaiʻi residents in areas of need with access to quality health insurance coverage.  For many of us, healthcare can be confusing and difficult to understand, and these partners will help to simplify the process and strengthen their communities.”

“With these partner organizations we are taking outreach efforts deeper into each community and connecting individuals, families and small businesses with the health insurance and financial assistance options available to them,” said Bonnie ʻĀnela McAfee-Torco, the Hawai‘i Health Connector’s Hiʻi Ola program manager.  “The Kōkua will provide in-person assistance to empower our families and communities to make the best health care decisions possible.”

In addition to the marketplace assister program, the Connector is also building a customer support center, which will receive inquiries from multiple communication channels, including telephone, postal mail, web chat and fax.  The customer support center will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week, during the open enrollment period.

These services being offered by the Connector will help consumers use the Connector’s online health insurance marketplace, designed in partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and Department of Human Services. Open enrollment in quality health plans on the Connector will begin this Fall.

For more information regarding the Hawai‘i Health Connector, please visit

About the Hawai‘i Health Connector

The Hawai‘i Health Connector is the online health insurance marketplace for Hawai‘i. The Connector was established as a non-profit organization in 2011 by the Hawai‘i State Legislature through Act 205, in order to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010. The Connector’s aim is an online marketplace that is of Hawai‘i-for-Hawai‘i, one that takes into account the state’s unique culture and works with the Prepaid Health Care Act, an employer mandate for health insurance coverage in effect since 1974. For more information, visit



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