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State roundup for April 9

Health exchange receives $130M

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s insurance exchange is getting a federal grant worth nearly $130 million to set up a call center and customer assistance program.

Hawaii Health Connector said Monday the money will also pay for general maintenance and the exchange’s operations through December 2014.

Hawaii set up the exchange as part of the Obama administration’s health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act.

The exchange is designed to provide insurance coverage to middle-class households who currently can’t get their own. Individuals and small businesses may use it to select a private health plan.

It will start signing up customers on Oct. 1 for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie says the grant will help inform people about the exchange and how it will provide greater access to health care coverage.

Airplane forced to turn back

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaiian Airlines plane with 258 passengers on board was forced to make an emergency landing.

The Los Angeles-bound plane had to turn back to the Honolulu International Airport on Sunday because of an engine problem.

A company official said a cockpit indicator showed there was an oil filter problem with the plane. The problem arose about a half hour into the flight.

The plane returned to the airport and passengers were booked on another flight.

F-22 Raptors combat ready

HONOLULU (AP) — Two Hawaii-based F-22 Raptor fighter squadrons are ready for combat.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is home to 20 F-22 Raptors. The Hawaii Air National Guard began the transition from F-15 Eagle aircraft to the F-22s in July 2010.

The two fighter squadrons have been cleared to be able to deploy all of their aircraft. The move is a step up from last November when the two fighter squadrons attained initial operational capability status, meaning only some of the warplanes could be deployed.

The Hawaii Air National Guard and Air Force share responsibility for flying and maintaining the F-22 aircraft.


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