S Memo 12-10

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 in Informal Opinions - Sunshine Law

S Memo 12-10
March 22, 2012
Applicability of Sunshine Law to Interim Board of Directors
of the Hawaii Health Connector

The Interim Board of Directors of the Hawaii Health Connector (Interim Board) is not a board as defined by the Sunshine Law and is not subject to the requirements of the Sunshine Law.

The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 provides for the establishment by the federal government of health insurance exchanges in every state if the state does not establish its own exchange by January 1, 2014. Act 205 of 2011 established a Hawaii health insurance exchange known as the Hawaii Health Connector (Connector). 

Act 205 expressly states that the Connector “shall not be an agency of the State. . . . The connector shall be a Hawaii nonprofit corporation organized and governed pursuant to chapter 414D, the Hawaii nonprofit corporations act.” HRS § 435H 2(a). The Connector is a nonprofit entity governed by a board of directors which shall commence on July 1, 2012. Prior to July 1, 2012, Act 205 provided for establishment of the Interim Board, which shall “sunset” on June 30, 2012. 

It is clear from Act 205 that the Connector and its board of directors are not State entities. The Interim Board is operating the Connector, a nonprofit corporation, until the Interim Board’s sunset date when the board of directors will take over. The Interim Board is not an “an agency, board, commission, authority, or committee of the State or its political subdivisions.” Rather, it is a governing board for a nonprofit corporation. Thus, the Interim Board, having failed to meet the first prong of the definition of a “board,” is not subject to the Sunshine Law.