How UHIP backlog amounted to over 24k applications - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

How UHIP backlog amounted to over 24k applications

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By Alana Cerrone

acerrone@abc6.com

@Alana_Cerrone

24,083 - that's the number of applications currently waiting to be processed.

UHIP went live on September 13th, and within 6 weeks, the number of pending applications had already stacked up to over 9,000.

In November, Governor Raimondo admitted the roll-out was rocky and said the state would intervene.

"We are being transparent. We want everybody to know what is going on. Look they are frustrated, i am frustrated. I wish this were going better. It's not ok that people are waiting in line for 2 or 3 hours and so we have to do more to fix it."

It was then that her administration said it had anticipated problems from the get-go

"What's been happening is that our processes and productivity is going to dip. I think we're in this area - I'm hoping we're in this area."

But that back-log kept growing. And come mid-November there were over 11,000 applications still waiting. At that point, then DHS Director Melba Depena-Affigne had high hopes for the coming weeks, saying she was confident that by January 1st, they'd be processing as many applications as they had coming in.

But by December - the backlog jumped to over 18,000.

"It become clear we weren't catching up - it was at that point we said ok we have to take a harder look at this."

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