The Department of Human Services and the Affordable Care Act
Most people in Hawai‘i have health care coverage through their employment or through Medicare or Medicaid. However, there were some people who fell through the cracks.
The federal Affordable Care act gave states permission to open their local Medicaid programs to more low-income people. The state of Hawai‘i fully implemented the Affordable Care Act and expended Medicaid eligibility to more individuals. In addition, the ACA provided support for a new electronic eligibility system that let’s people apply and enroll for Medicaid online and manage their own accounts. Starting in January 2016, DHS will maintain the call center and outreach and enrollment services for Hawai‘i’s state-based insurance marketplace.
Medicaid is a federal/state partnership with shared authority and financing. The program covers nearly 50 million low-income Americans, including more than 386,000 Hawai‘i residents. States must meet minimum federal requirements such as covering families with children and offering certain benefits. States also may provide optional expanded coverage.
Under the ACA, states had the option to open Medicaid to more people. Hawai‘i chose to do so. Under that 2014 expansion any adult under 65 years of age with qualified residency or citizenship and income under 138% federal poverty level (FPL), will be eligible for Medicaid irrespective of their assets.
For an FAQ about Medicaid, go here: https://mybenefits.hawaii.gov/medicaid-faqs/
For more information about the Affordable Care Act, visit the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.