UHIP: State Officials Report Progress, But Roughly 6,000 Residents Remain Without Benefits

Dec 18, 2017

Last week we met Rhode Islanders waiting outside the state Department of Human Services because of problems with benefits like food stamps and Medicaid. The shift to a new online system left thousands of people without the assistance they count on. One woman, Elizabeth Vanover, says doctors bills have been piling up since the state cut off her Medicaid.

"I’ve been down here three or four times and I ain’t got medical yet," Vanover said. "I was on it and then they end up shutting me down. So now I’m down here trying to see if I can get my medical back."

State officials say they have made progress reducing the number of people like Vanover who are waiting to get benefits. They’ve cut through the backlog for food stamps. Rhode Island Public Radio’s health reporter, Lynn Arditi, sat down with state Human Services Director Courtney Hawkins to find out more.