Hawaii Affordable Care Act laws & HR compliance analysis

Hawaii Affordable Care Act: What you need to know

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a system of healthcare exchanges (or “marketplaces”) to provide individuals and small employers with access to affordable insurance coverage beginning on January 1, 2014. The exchanges are supposed to make it easy for small businesses and individuals to compare healthcare plans, receive answers to their questions, find out whether they are eligible for certain tax credits and/or health programs, and enroll in a healthcare plan that works for them.
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States had the flexibility to design and operate exchanges that best met their unique needs while complying with ACA’s statutory and regulatory standards. All the states had to make a choice regarding what kind of exchange they wanted. Basically, the states could:
• Build a fully state-based exchange;
• Default to a federal exchange (often referred to as a “federally facilitated exchange”); or
• Enter into a state partnership exchange with the federal government.
Each state had to establish an exchange where individuals can go to buy coverage, but the states also had to set up Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOPs or SHOP exchanges) where small businesses can purchase coverage.
Hawaii initially created its own state-based exchange, Hawaii Health Connector, but decided in 2015 to shut it down. Hawaii residents can now obtain coverage through the federal marketplace. Hawaii’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations runs the state’s SHOP program.
Hawaii Health Connector is supposed to allow individuals and families to choose the health insurance program that matches their financial and health needs. The website states that its goal is to make health insurance easier to buy ...

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