Rhode Island has been awarded $130 million dollars over the next five years from the federal government to continue its work overhauling Medicaid. The health insurance program for the poor serves nearly one in three Rhode Islanders. The money is earmarked for efforts that pay for better quality care instead of the quantity of care.
Sen. Josh Miller (D-Cranston) has had a front row seat during the implementation of Obamacare in Rhode Island. Now, the prospect of a Trump presidency is creating uncertainty among proponents of the law.
State officials are responding to problems with the state’s brand new health and human services computer system. The multi-million dollar system has experienced technical problems that are affecting services and causing long wait times at field offices.
As of Tuesday there’s a new way of applying for state benefits like Medicaid and food stamps, or SNAP. It's an online application for all Department of Human Services benefits, all in one place - Rhode Island's biggest information technology project ever. But some advocates for the poor fear there won’t be enough support to help clients make the transition.
Hundreds of thousands of Rhode Islanders receive state assistance like food stamps and Medicaid. The agency that helps connect them with those benefits - the Department of Human Services - is in the midst of a major reorganization.
Rhode Island’s new online portal for programs like Medicaid and food stamps is set to go live mid-September. The new system will streamline the process for people seeking services. It could also impact some DHS employees.