Park City, Utah (PRWEB) April 24, 2013
Today, Zane Benefits, Inc. published a new guide on the Hawaii Health Insurance Exchange. Zane Benefits, which provides comprehensive and flexible alternatives to traditional employer sponsored health benefits, is the leader in defined contribution and health reimbursement arrangements.
According to Zane Benefits’ website, as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance coverage for individuals and small businesses will become available through new state health insurance exchanges starting in January 2014. Most importantly, the key tax credits (e.g. the small business healthcare tax credits) and tax subsidies (e.g. individual health insurance tax subsidies) will only be available for coverage purchased via a state health insurance exchanges.
According to Zane Benefits’ website, all states have three options for setting up a state health insurance exchange for 2014:
- Build a State-Based Exchange
- Enter into a State-Federal Partnership Exchange
- Default to a Federally-Facilitated Exchange
Hawaii plans to offer a state-based exchange called Hawai'i Health Connector. The Exchange will open in October 2013, for coverage starting January 1, 2013.
Hawaii Health Insurance Exchange
According to Zane Benefits’ website, the Hawaii Health Insurance Exchange, Hawaiʻi Health Connector, will be an online health insurance marketplace. Hawaiʻi Health Connector will help individuals and small businesses shop and compare health insurance choices, and take advantage of new health care reform tax credits and subsidies. According to Hawaiʻi Health Connector the vision is to "help the people of Hawaiʻi live happier and healthier lives by making quality health insurance accessible to all, making the acquisition of health insurance affordable and simpler, and by improving the integration between public and private health plans."
Individuals seeking health coverage through the Hawaii Health Insurance Exchange will find out if they are eligible for the following tax credits and subsidies:
- Tax credits: Tax credits will be available to lower the cost of health coverage for individuals and families who meet certain income requirements and do not have health insurance from an employer or a government program. When a consumer enrolls in a health plan through the Hawaiʻi Health Connector, tax credits will be immediately applied to the insurance premium, reducing the amount the consumer pays each month. Individuals and families who make between 138% and 400% of the federal poverty level may be eligible for the tax credit. This means that an individual making up to $44,680 and a family of four earning up to $92,200 may be eligible for a tax credit.
- Cost-sharing subsidies: Cost-sharing subsidies will reduce the amount of out-of-pocket health care expenses an individual or family has to pay. These expenses may include the co-payments for health care services or other costs.
The small business exchange ("SHOP") will be for small businesses with 100 or less full-time employees. The Exchange estimates that employers with over 100 employees will be able to use the Hawaiʻi Health Connector in 2017.
How the Hawaii Health Insurance Exchange Was Formed
According to Zane Benefits’ website, on July 11, 2011, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed SB 1348 into law establishing the Hawai'i Health Connector. The law builds on Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act of 1975 (PHCA) which required nearly all employers to provide health insurance to employees working 20 or more hours a week for four consecutive weeks. The legislation established the Hawai'i Health Connector as a non-profit corporation. On January 3, 2013, Hawaii received conditional approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a state-based exchange.
Hawaii Health Insurance Exchange - Role of Insurance Professionals
According to Zane Benefits’ website, Hawaii has not publically released the formal role, and compensation structure, for agents and brokers selling policies on the Hawai'i Health Connector. Based on public governance meeting notes (March 14, 2013), the Exchange is discussing a model where producers (not acting as official Navigators) would receive a type of compensation, fee or stipend. The Exchange recognizes the importance of agents and brokers in the Exchange, however at the time of writing details have not been decided or released confirming the fee structure and who would pay the fees (exchange vs. carriers).
About Zane Benefits
Zane Benefits was founded in 2006 to provide a revolutionized SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) administration platform ("ZaneHRA") for Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and defined contribution health care. The flagship software provides a 100% paperless administration experience to employers and insurance professionals that want to offer better health benefits without a traditional group health insurance plan at lower costs. For more information about ZaneHRA, visit http://www.zanebenefits.com.