The Hawaii Health Connector’s board of directors plans to vote Wednesday on a plan to accelerate the transition of the beleaguered online insurance marketplace to the state beginning Dec. 1.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services determined earlier this year that Hawaii was not in compliance with certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act — namely, the Connector not being financially self-sustaining by Jan. 1.

Jeff Kissell, Executive Director of the Hawaii Health Connector speaks to lawmakers at hearing at the Capitol. 29 dec 2014. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Jeff Kissell, executive director of the Hawaii Health Connector, makes his case for more state support at a legislative oversight committee hearing in December.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The state has already transitioned to the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov, for the current open enrollment period, which started Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31.

The enrollment is for residents who aren’t eligible for health insurance through their employer or not enrolled in a government insurance program, the governor’s office said in a release Friday. Individuals seeking insurance are encouraged to enroll by Dec. 15 to ensure that their coverage begins on Jan 1, 2016. Individuals who are currently enrolled in ACA plans will need to re-enroll through healthcare.gov.

“Due to Hawaii’s long history of health care coverage through the Prepaid Health Care Act of 1974, the rate of uninsured individuals has been amongst the lowest in the nation,” said Jeff Kissel, executive director, Hawaii Health Connector, in the release.

“The Connector was established to reach out to uninsured Hawaii residents who were not covered under the Prepaid Health Care Act or government health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare,” he said. “We believe we were successful in reaching many of these previously uninsured individuals. Hawaii residents will still be able to continue to access affordable health care coverage through healthcare.gov.”

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