Hawaii Health Connector’s Permanent Board

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Hawaii Health Connector

June 2012

The Connector’s Permanent Board

Confirmed by the Hawai‘i State Senate, the Hawai‘i Health Connector’s permanent board
will be seated on July 1, 2012. Board members are:
  • Cliff Alakai – Maui Medical Group
  • Clementina Ceria-Ulep, Ph.D., MSN, R.N. – Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE)
  • Joan Danieley – Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
  • Jennifer Diesman – Hawai‘i Medical Services Association
  • Kenneth Fink, MD – Hawai‘i Department of Human Services
  • Beth Giesting – Hawai‘i Office of the Governor
  • Michael Gleason – The Arc of Hilo
  • Robert Hirokawa, DC, DrPH, MPH – Hawai‘i Primary Care Association
  • Faye Kurren – Hawai‘i Dental Service
  • Kealii Lopez – Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs
  • Sherry Menor-McNamara – Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i
  • Gwen Rulona – UFCW Local 480
  • Christine Mai‘i Sakuda – Hawai‘i Health Information Exchange (HHIE)
  • Hardy Spoehr – Papa Ola Lōkahi
  • Edward Wang – Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

New Hires

We are pleased to welcome new staff to the Connector as we build our health insurance exchange. The Connector brings a diverse group of professionals together with the confidence, intelligence and courage needed to operate Hawai‘i’s Health Insurance Exchange. We have recently filled the positions of our chief operations officer, director of fiscal services and accounting, grants compliance manager, consumer relations manager and project coordinators.
Kevin Hause—Kevin has accepted the position of chief operations officer for the Connector. Before joining the Connector team Kevin was the vice president for a management-consulting firm where he worked globally on strategic marketing and product optimization. He is widely noted as an expert in leveraging emerging technologies for consumer media and commerce and has been quoted for publications by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Investor’s Business Daily and Time Magazine. Kevin holds his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Vanderbilt University and his Masters in Business Administration from Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt.
Resty J. Cruz–Resty has accepted the position of director of fiscal services and accounting for the Connector. He comes to us with more than 30 years of experience as a director of finance and financial controller opening international hotels. His most recent post was in Hilton’s European headquarters in England as a regional finance controller, where he oversaw internal audits of hotels throughout Europe. His experience in training, developing, and managing global accounting departments and teams is most welcome as he establishes the accounting department and procedures for the Connector. Resty earned his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Guam and over the years has attended Cornell University’s Professional Development Programs.
Kathy Mitchell–Kathy has accepted the position of the grants compliance manager for the Connector. She has spent the last 19 years working with the State as a planning and contract specialist and is well versed in state procurement laws and administrative rules. Kathy is a graduate student at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Leaving state government and joining the connector is an exciting move for her. She explained, “The Connector is ground breaking and everyone [staff] are meeting for the first time to meet the aggressive timelines set forth in the Affordable Care Act.”
Dorene S. Davey–Dorene has accepted the position of policy analyst for the Connector. She previously worked in the legal field as a paralegal for a locally owned and operated law firm specializing in defense litigation. Most recently she worked with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs as a research specialist for the Insurance Division. She has also worked as an IT consultant and was assigned to the USS Missouri. Dorene has a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in pre-law from the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa, along with a Masters of Science in Information Systems and a Certificate in Telecommunications Security from Hawai‘i Pacific University.
Roshan F. Rodriguez–Roshan has accepted the position of project coordinator for the Connector. She is responsible for managing aspects of the Connector’s establishment process to ensure that deadlines are met and final work products reflect all policies. Prior to joining the Connector, Roshan was a client relations director with a Washington, D.C. consulting firm providing services to Trinidad and Tobago. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Spanish from George Mason University. She is currently working on her Executive Master of Business Administration.
Emerald Kapi‘olani Adams—Emerald has accepted the position of the project coordinator for the Connector. She will be working closely with Roshan and Dorene to ensure our project deliverables are thoroughly researched and completed to meet our rigorous timeline requirements. She joins the team with a background in research having worked for several years in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. Most recently, she provided research support on native Hawaiian well-being and demography at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Kamehameha Schools. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Scripps College in Claremont, California and a Master of Arts in Demography from the University of California, Berkeley.
Kanoelehua K. L. Renaud–Kanoelehua has accepted the position of consumer relations specialist for the Connector. She previously worked with the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE), the East-West Center’s President’s Office and the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau. She has a strong background in working with Native Hawaiian communities, collaborative partnerships and relationship building. She also brings her experience with the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Native Hawaiian Education Council. Kanoelehua graduated from the University of Hawai‘i with a Bachelor of Arts in Hawaiian Studies and has attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Professional Development Programs.

New Offices

The Connector has moved into our new office at 201 Merchant Street, Suite 1810 Honolulu, HI 96813. We feel fortunate to have found space that is centrally located and is easily accessible to our consumer stakeholders. Although we are still working with our card tables while we await furniture and equipment, we are enjoying the extra room.
Sneak peak: The vision for our office layout is one that facilitates the cross-functional collaboration required by our team. Our new home provides conference spaces available for committee meetings and future Connector related events.
We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all of the staff at the Hawai‘i Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs for being such gracious hosts during the early start-up of the Connector and throughout our transition into our new offices.

More States Work to Implement Health Care Law

Six more states are moving ahead with plans to establish Affordable Insurance Exchanges to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sibelius announced in May that Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington will receive more than $181 million in federal grants to help develop their state’s Insurance Exchange.
The Affordable Care Act stipulates that by January 1, 2014, all states must operate Insurance Exchanges like Hawai‘i’s Health Care Connector to help consumers and small businesses choose a private health insurance plan at competitive prices. To date, 34 states and the District of Columbia have received Establishment grants to fund their progress toward building Exchanges.
Read more…

New Federal Guidance for States

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has assigned the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) to oversee state-based Health Insurance Exchanges. The CCIIO recently released an Exchange Blueprint to provide states with guidance to set up health exchanges that offer a wide range of competitively priced private health insurance options.
States can choose from three flexible Exchange models with varying degrees of federal involvement in operations. Due to the unique features of Hawai‘i’s Prepaid Health Care Act, our state Legislature determined that Hawai‘i’s health insurance exchange should be developed locally. The Connector will operate under the State-based Exchange model with minimal federal involvement, ensuring that the Connector is “of Hawai‘i and for Hawai‘i.”
To receive HHS Approval or Conditional Approval, as well as reinsurance and risk adjustment programs, each state must complete and submit an Exchange Blueprint that documents how its Exchange meets all legal and operational requirements by January 1, 2013.

Hawai‘i First State to Make Health Declaration

On June 13, 2012 Governor Neil Abercrombie has issued a “declaration letter” to the U.S. Health and Human Services Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIOO) verifying that Hawai‘i is establishing a state-certified health insurance exchange, the Hawai‛i Health Connector.
In late May 2012, CCIIO issued a call for states to declare their intentions for the exchanges and how they will be structured. Hawai‘i is the first state in the nation to officially declare its intent, which is to develop a State-Based Insurance Exchange. Although some states are opting for a greater degree of federal facilitation and control of their exchanges, the Connector’s executive director Coral Andrews explained, “We’re very focused on establishing the exchange as State-Based, ensuring that the Connector is of Hawai‘i and for Hawai‘i.”
“Hawai‘i has already received two grants from the federal government to assist with planning and set up of the Connector,” stated State Healthcare Transformation Coordinator Beth Giesting. “The Hawai‘i Health Connector, a nonprofit partner with the state, will be crucial in moving Hawai‘i toward universal coverage, providing consumers clear, understandable information, and ensuring that all choices offer high quality care.”
Hawaii Health Connector  P.O. Box 3767 Honolulu HI 96812
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