Hawaii is starting open enrollment under President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul without consumers being able to compare actual plans and prices.
Chief Marketing Officer Rick Budar of the Hawaii Health Connector told The Associated Press on Tuesday that consumers will be able to apply for coverage, but insurers are still testing and reviewing rates in part to make sure they're shown correctly within the system.
Hawaii consumers tried shopping for health coverage through the website, but experienced problems. According to Hawaii Health Connector Executive Director Coral Andrews, more than 1,000 people visited the site by noon.
Andrews says they are still working hard to get it all up and running as quickly as possible. In the meantime, shoppers can go on the website to complete an application and visit the tax calculator to see what subsidies may be available for them.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Neil Abercrombie chimed in on the status of the program.
“This is a work in progress and the state is monitoring the situation at the Hawaii Health Connector. I believe, like other health exchanges across the nation, the Connector will roll out improvements to its system in phases and provide the public with key information,” said Gov. Abercrombie.
HMSA has made its health care plans available through its new neighborhood center on Keeaumoku Street. Kaiser Permanente is offering its rates and plans on its website buykp.org.
Hawaii's insurance division said last month it approved 95 base plans under four tiers for the marketplace.
Budar says he doesn't expect many people to purchase plans until December, with coverage starting Jan. 1.