Hawaii health care exchange needs $4.7M next year


HONOLULU — The head of the Hawaii Health Connector tells a panel of lawmakers that the troubled health exchange will need $4.7 million to be financially sustainable next year.

Tom Matsuda made the remarks at a legislative hearing Wednesday. He says the board of the exchange spent the weekend analyzing its budget and sustainability plan. They made fairly deep cuts to salaries, outreach and public relations.

Hawaii lawmakers also are hearing preliminary results of an audit of Hawaii’s health exchange. Acting State Auditor Jan Yamane says the Connector had spent $55.5 million by the end of 2013.

Rep. Della Au Bellati says it’s urgent that government representatives weigh in as the Legislature considers financial support to the exchange. She says the Legislature is demanding more transparency and changes to the Connector’s board.