HONOLULU, HI – The Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly (SCHHA) signed a $675,000 agreement today with the Hawaiʻi Health Connector to serve as a marketplace assister organization that will reach out to native Hawaiians living in 34 Hawaiian Home Land communities who may not currently have health insurance coverage. The partnership is part of the Connector’s Hi’i Ola program, which provides outreach and education services in communities statewide to facilitate enrollment in a health plan.
“Native Hawaiians experience significant health disparities, and helping them enroll in a health plan through the Connector is the first step toward improving their access to quality healthcare,” said ʻĀnela McAfee-Torco, Hiʻi Ola Program Manager with the Hawaiʻi Health Connector.
“Our own people will be helping their neighbors in the Home Lands access affordable health care, and in doing so, we advance the health and self-determination of the Native Hawaiian people,” said Kamaki Kanahele, chairman of SCHHA, which is composed of member Hawaiian Homestead Associations located on Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Lanaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island and represents more than 30,000 people.
“We will be meeting in every Hawaiian Home Lands community and knocking on every door to assist our people. This project is another step towards our people overcoming the challenging health concerns that plague our community,” said project manager Jade Danner Jones.
SCHHA will be paid for their services to help people enroll in a health plan through the Hawaiʻi Health Connector from a federal grant earmarked for outreach. The Hokupili Foundation is serving as the fiscal agent for the SCHHA.
The contract, effective from March 1, continues through December 31, 2014, with the option for a no-cost extension, if the federal government allows the Hawaii Health Connector to extend its federal grants into 2015.
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About the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly
The mission of the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Homelands Assembly is
to provide, preserve, and to defend the land trust by (1) advocating for the perpetuity of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921, as amended and its land trust and to improve through rehabilitation, conditions for those residing on the land and wait list; (2) assist, facilitate capacity building and support member Associations who maintain distinct native communities that foster self-governance and self-determination over their own affairs; empower beneficiaries to participate in public policy and decision making that will impact the formation of sound policies and programs that are connected to our communities and all native Hawaiians.
About the Hawai‘i Health Connector
The Hawai‘i Health Connector is the online health insurance marketplace for Hawai‘i. The Connector was established as a non-profit organization in 2011 by the Hawai‘i State Legislature through Act 205, in order to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010. The Connector’s aim is an online marketplace that is of Hawai‘i-for-Hawai‘i, one that takes into account the State’s unique culture and works with the Prepaid Health Care Act, an employer mandate for health insurance coverage in effect since 1974. For more information, visitiwww.HawaiiHealthConnector.com.
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