PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island officials say the projected cost of a state benefits system that has been plagued with problems since its rollout last year has grown to almost $500 million.

Documents show the state’s new estimate of the Unified Health Infrastructure Project, or UHIP, is now at just over $491 million through the 2018-2019 federal fiscal year, with nearly $108 million of that to be covered by state taxpayers.

That’s an increase from earlier estimates, which pegged the cost at around $445 million.

WPRI-TV reports that state Department of Human Services director Courtney Hawkins acknowledged the “significant” number, but added that the amount “goes back to 2011.”

The system handles applications for food stamps, Medicaid benefits and other services.

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