Lawmakers propose fees for Hawaii health exchange


HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers are proposing to charge a fee to insurers that are not currently participating in the state’s insurance exchange under President Barack Obama’s federal health care overhaul.

The fee would help the financially troubled Hawaii Health Connector achieve sustainability, which may run out of money to pay its bills by the end of this year.

A flurry of House proposals were rolled into one overarching bill (HB 2529) now being considered by the Senate.

The bill would also create a legislative oversight committee to review the exchange’s financial and operational plans.

Another proposal calls for seeking waivers from some requirements of the Affordable Care Act to accomplish goals like downsizing the Connector.

Rep. Angus McKelvey says lawmakers want to know about every penny the exchange wants to spend.