Business/In Brief • July 22, 2014

75K in Hawaii have no health care

HONOLULU – State officials say the rate of people without health insurance in Hawaii has dropped below 6 percent since the implementation of President Barack Obama’s federal health care overhaul.

Officials told a joint House committee briefing on Monday that roughly 75,000 people in Hawaii don’t have health care.

Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito says the rate is down from about 8 percent before the push to enroll people last year.

The new rates come as lawmakers discuss the state of Hawaii’s troubled health insurance exchange, which can’t financially sustain itself.

Interim Executive Director Tom Matsuda says the state is still figuring out how to operate on a much smaller budget.

Matsuda says as of July 12, nearly 44,000 people signed up for health insurance through the Hawaii Health Connector and Medicaid.


Navy investing in wave energy testing

HONOLULU – The University of Hawaii says the U.S. Navy is investing $9 million more in a Kaneohe wave energy development project.

The university said Monday that the funds will help the Manoa campus’ Hawaii Natural Energy Institute conduct additional underwater surveys with its partner Sea Engineering Inc.

The funds will also benefit divers and remotely operated underwater vehicles.

Kaneohe is expected to become the first wave energy test site in the nation to connect to an active power grid.

The Navy began testing wave energy devices in Kaneohe Bay several years ago with a test berth in about 100 feet of water. This year, the Navy plans to establish two additional test berths at depths of about 200 feet and 260 feet.