The estimated cost of Rhode Island's troubled new computer system for benefits has grown by $150 million, after state officials added an aditional year's spending to the forecast.
According to WPRI-TV, the latest estimate puts the total cost of the United Health Infrastructure Project at $647 million through the 2019-2020 federal fiscal year, with $138 million covered by state taxpayers and the rest by the federal government. The previous budget estimated the cost of finishing the computer system at $491.3 million, of which the state would pick up $108.2 million and federal funds would cover the rest.
The UHIP system was supposed to streamline benefits program including Medicaid, food stamps, and HealthSource RI. State officials have been struggling to fix it since it went live in September 2016.
Meanwhile, the UHIP controversy is seen as politically damaging to Governor Gina Raimondo in her run for re-election. GOP candidate for his party's nomination, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, released a statement Thursday challenging the governor to reveal the true costs of what he is calling her administration's "colossal incompetence."