The Hawaii Health Connector is using all the tools it can to get Hawaii residents signed up for health insurance. Today, it happened to be a small business fair at Leeward Community College.
“A lot of people have been by to inquire both on the small business side well as the individual side, so we’ve been talking to a lot of consumers who are having trouble. They can’t get insurance, their insurance premiums are high, they’re looking for alternatives and options.” Hawaii health connector Puanani Crabbe said.
Hawaii was one of the last states in the union to get an online insurance program going.. but that’s because… Hawaii was ahead of other states because employers were required by law to make sure their employees had health insurance – long before the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Still, there were glitches ahead of the October startup date.
Crabbe says many of the problems have been addressed.
“There are some issues we’re working through and we are doing so expeditiously and timely, and we are working through them. But the systems are a lot better. We’re able to do a lot more applications.” Crabbe said.
Between four and five thousand applications have been processed – but so far, there is no breakdown between individuals looking for health insurance and small businesses that want to help their employees with insurance. Many small businesses are eligible for a tax credit when they help insure their employees.
“If you have been eligible for that tax credit and are still going to be eligible moving forward into 2014 and beyond, the only way you’ll be able to claim that tax credit this year and beyond would be to purchase your health insurance through the Hawaii Health Connector.” Crabbe said.
Generally – small business is defined as a company with fewer than 25 employees with an average annual salary of less than 50 thousand dollars.
There are also tax break opportunities for companies with up to 50 employees.
For more information, go to hawaiihealthconnector.com or call 877-628-5076