The ACLU of Rhode Island has filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court, alleging low-income residents who receive financial help with Medicare expenses are not being properly notified before their benefits are terminated.
ACLU ties its lawsuit, filed against the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services, to the state benefits system that's been plagued by problems. The suit alleges that after the computer system went live, Rhode Island Legal Services began receiving calls from clients who learned from the Social Security Administration the state was no longer paying their Medicare premiums.
Ashley O'Shea, the health agency's communications director, says the state is trying to address the issue, which she blames on the vendor. She says the state is working with ACLU on both immediate and long-term resolutions.