Hawaii granted state innovation waiver under ACA, eliminating SHOP requirements

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CMS has approved Hawaii's request for a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the ACA.

States can request the innovation waiver to pursue creative strategies to provide residents with high quality, affordable insurance while retaining the basic protections of the ACA.

In its application submitted in August, Hawaii asked CMS to waive the ACA requirement that a Small Business Health Options Program operate in Hawaii. CMS approved the request Dec. 30.

In addition to freeing Hawaii from SHOP requirements, the waiver will also allow the small business tax credit amounts that would have been paid to employers who purchased coverage through SHOP to be provided to the state and used to support a fund that helps small businesses in Hawaii offer health coverage.

The waiver is effective Jan. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2021.

Hawaii is the first and only state to apply for and receive a Section 1332 waiver.

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