Awaiting Obamacare signups

A group assembles to learn about their Obamacare options at Our Lady of Peace Parish in North Hills in February. Because of problems traced to state computer systems, 300,000 Medi-Cal applications are backlogged in L.A. County. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

The state backlog grew by 100,000 during the month of April, as new applications for the state’s healthcare program for the poor continued pouring in and stubborn problems with computer systems persisted.

In Los Angeles County, where numbers of pending applications rose dramatically, workers for the Department of Public Social Services have been chipping away at the backlog, department assistant director Anjetta Venters-Bowles said.

In the two-week period between April 13 and April 27, staff members processed 23,000 applications, Venters-Bowles said. But their progress has been stymied by ongoing problems getting state computer enrollment systems to communicate with county computers, she added.

“We’re still having stability issues,” she said.

About 38,000 of Los Angeles County’s 300,000 pending applications were submitted before the end of January.  By law, counties are supposed to complete Medi-Cal applications within 45 days of receipt.

On April 6, The Times reported a statewide backlog of 800,000 Medi-Cal applications, and a county backlog of about 200,000.