10/15/2013 11:52 pm ET

Hawaii Health Connector Finally Gets A Pulse


Fifteen days after it was slated to go live, it seems Hawaii finally has a functioning online health exchange.

The Hawaii Health Connector was the last state-run health exchange website to come online, and it struggled with problems even up to today.

This morning, the site was running beginning around 10:30am, but by 1pm, site visitors encountered an error message that said, “This website is temporarily unavailable, please try again."

Hawaii residents wanting to view price and policy options have been “trying again” since Oct. 1, when Hawaii Health Connector was supposed to go live as part of the nationwide Obamacare rollout. But the site would not allow consumers to view and compare plans and prices, a crucial aspect of the health exchange vision. Many states experienced problems with their online exchanges, and even the national website HealthCare.gov suffered multiple crashes.

But 30 minutes after today’s malfunction the site was up and running again, and seemingly for good. Now residents can view 95 different health plans available to them, categorized by price and eligibility.

As part of Obamacare, Americans without health insurance are mandated by law to sign up for a health plan. Anyone enrolled by Dec. 15 will have coverage beginning on the first possible date, Jan. 1. Open enrollment will close at the end of March 2014, after which most uninsured Americans will face tax penalties for not carrying coverage.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia are running their own online exchanges, and the federal government is hosting another 27 states’ exchanges. The remaining seven states are running partnerships between themselves and the federal government.



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