Hawaii health exchange head to testify to Congress
HONOLULU — The head of Hawaii’s troubled health insurance exchange has been called to Congress to testify about the problems the state’s marketplace has faced.
Tom Matsuda, interim director of the Hawaii Health Connector, will head to Washington next week.
“We are committed to providing any and all relevant information to adequately respond to the public,” Matsuda said in an emailed statement. “My goal is to provide the facts about what really happened in Hawaii the best I can.”
Hawaii is one of 10 states with officials who will testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The committee says the states were flagged because security testing was inadequate before the states connected to a federal database. There were 35 states that were deemed a high risk, and 10 states were considered a moderate risk.
Republican Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, of California, says the personal information of Americans who signed up for health insurance through the exchanges was at risk.
The Connector has enrolled far fewer people in insurance plans than officials hoped. As a result, it doesn’t have enough money to sustain itself.
Officials from the Hawaii Health Connector have said the nonprofit needs about $15 million per year to operate. It has enough money to last through the end of 2014 and part of next year.
Only about 5,700 people had enrolled in insurance plans through Hawaii’s exchange as of the end of last week. Workers at the Connector have been reaching out to enroll more people before a March 31 deadline.