By Stephanie KirschbaumHONOLULU — A Hawaii court on Friday temporarily blocked the implementation of the ACA’s insurance markets, ordering the state to continue to monitor its own enrollment.
The state of Hawaii is among a handful of states that are currently facing the threat of an insurance market failure, with insurers fleeing the marketplaces in a series of state-wide court decisions that are a precursor to the implementation deadlines.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by the Hawaii Insurance Department and other organizations seeking to halt the state’s implementation of ACA’s new Medicaid expansion.
The plaintiffs argued that the state failed to adequately monitor enrollment and lacked sufficient authority to restrict how many people could be enrolled.
The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the plaintiffs failed to prove their case.
Hawaii Attorney General Brian Meehan said in a statement that he and his office are confident that Hawaii will be able to fully implement the law.
The decision was not a mandate to implement the ACA, he said.
In a statement, Meegan said the court’s ruling “will allow Hawaii to continue implementing its Medicaid expansion in an orderly manner.”
The decision follows a similar one last week by a Hawaii court, in which a three-judge panel upheld the state on its expansion and said the state lacked the authority to block the expansion.
The appeals court ordered the state not to implement any other expansions or changes to the Medicaid program that are pending.
Hawaiians with incomes between 138 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level were required to obtain coverage, and those with incomes above 400 percent were required, but not required, to obtain health insurance.