How UHIP backlog amounted to over 24k applications
By 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."