Rhode Islanders seeking medical or food stamp assistance will soon be able to complete their application online, all in one go.
The new online portal is now anticipated to go live in September.
Right now Rhode Islanders go through lots of different doors to sign up for Medicaid or food stamps or other kinds of assistance, and the waits can be long. There’s also some fraud in fragmented system. This Department of Human Services video paints a picture of how they hope to streamline the process with a new online integrated enrollment and eligibility system. Imagine a Rhode Islander named Ed:
“He finds the customer portal on the internet, and fills out an application. For the most part, Ed is able to breeze through the application. When he runs into a field he isn’t sure about there are help screens that provide additional clarity about what he’s supposed to enter in each field.”
And then, the video says, Ed can expect to be notified whether his application is complete right away. He can upload eligibility documents electronically, and spend less time waiting in line for a caseworker. And he can find out if he's eligible and enroll in Medicaid, food stamps, cash assistance, and child care benefits all in one place.
The project is supposed to save the state money in the long run by integrating several legacy systems. But costs have gone up, and the launch date has been pushed back again to September.