Medicare Improperly Paid $120M to Ineligibles

Kyle Cheney, Politico, January 24, 2013

Illegal immigrants and prison inmates received more than $120 million in Medicare services from 2009-2011 despite federal law that makes them ineligible for the program, according to two new reports from the HHS inspector general.

The issue, according to the reports, is timing. When Medicare is alerted that someone is incarcerated or undocumented, its contractors help prevent payments from going out the door. But often, Medicare’s databases aren’t up to date, and improper payments go out.

And Medicare lacks the tools to get the money back.

Nearly 3,000 illegal immigrants made thousands of claims resulting in $91.6 million in services improperly covered by Medicare during the three-year period studied in the report.

Over the same period, more than 135,000 Medicare beneficiaries were incarcerated, a second report shows. The report says that 11,600 inmates submitted more than 75,000 claims and received services worth $33.6 million.


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  • jambi19

    It’s frustrating. I see these headlines and I don’t get upset or angry anymore. I think to myself; “dog bites man.”

  • The__Bobster

    Ridiculous. I’m sure the real number is at least one order of magnitude higher than that.

    • I agree. I have seen beaners with my own eyes at the VA hospital trying to obtain free service. You should have seen how fast we thru that gaggle of parasites out. They REALLY needed a doctor afterwards.

  • bigone4u

    I wouldn’t have guessed that so many older folks ended up in prison. I would have expected more illegal immigrants sucking on the medicare teat. Don’t worry, though, because Obama will get to work teaching illegals how to game the system.

    • mobilebay

      They might not know how to spell their names, by they seem to be born knowing how to game the system. It’s inbred.

  • ed91

    sometimes being honest makes me feel like a schmuck.

  • fakeemail

    Joe “You Lie” Wilson was RIGHT!

  • APaige

    Just taking the benefits that Americans would not take.
    I am shocked that illegals taking benefits was illegal.

  • Why is Medicare paying for inmate healthcare?

    Why is someone who does not have US ID getting other than minimum treatment?

  • obama’s people

    Sounds like Obama was behind it all and approved the 92 million since everyone knows illegals are his trump card to a 3rd and 4th term.

  • “Nearly 3,000 illegal immigrants made thousands of claims resulting in
    $91.6 million in services improperly covered by Medicare….”

    That’s an average of $31,000 per illegal immigrant. Are these cases all based on identity theft where the illegal immigrant uses a fake ID, or are there other ways an illegal immigrant can sign up for Medicare and use Medicare services?

  • refocus

    These reported numbers of $120 million must be a typo or mistake, as there is no way the accounting office can calculate something that small. The real pay out to illegals must be closer to $120 billion.

  • OlderWoman

    Probably because illiterate black government employees did the paperwork and forced these payments through. Blacks are the cause of government waste.

  • StillModerated

    The US Gubmint only wasted $120 million? I guess dumbing down the schools really worked. We should be celebrating such petty crimes!

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    I’m surprised so many of them bothered to scam Medicare. Medicaid is their usual target. Also, prison inmates are required by law to receive medical services paid for by the state. Why would they need Medicare when they’re already covered?

  • shattered2012

    A hundred million here… a hundred billion there… a trillion over there… nobody in government seems to be counting anymore.

  • Jim Parks

    The Part D of Medicare–the Prescription drug part–has had since its inception in 2006 a
    provision for social security supplementation of premium cost for low income people. Thus,
    as much as 30% or more of a monthly premium might be paid by the government directly to
    your insuror (Blue Cross, Humana, etc etc.) There appears to have been capricious
    monitoring of this low income supplementation, although the law clearly provides for direct
    verification from IRS to SSA as to the income level of the beneficiary. It comes off as just
    cumbersome, lumbering Big Government on exhbit. .