The $364M computer system will verify eligibility for public-assistance programs, from health coverage to subsidized childcare, cash assistance and the food stamp program known as SNAP.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — After years of hiccups and delays, the state’s biggest-ever IT project goes live on Tuesday at an estimated cost to state and federal taxpayers of $364 million so far, that may swell to $487.4 million by 2018 if the Raimondo administration gets the additional money it is seeking.
Known as UHIP, the “Unified Health Infrastructure Project” was launched four years ago by then-Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s administration to take advantage of federal money available for a new enrollment-and-tracking system for Obamacare enrollees.
Then it grew — and grew — to more than triple the initial $110-million cost estimate.
In its current incarnation as a replacement for a hodgepodge of decades-old state computer systems, the new system will encompass a wide array of public-assistance programs, from health coverage to subsidized childcare, cash assistance and the food stamp program now known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
If all goes well here, the Raimondo administration anticipates the new eligibility system will make “it easier and more convenient for Rhode Islanders to apply for and track their benefits,” make it more likely the state will be able to detect — and stop — waste and fraud, and save enough money to enable the state to recoup its entire UHIP investment “within the next two to three years.”