Audit Reveals Illinois Pays Thousands to Ineligible Medicaid Recipients

Chicago Tribune building

Chicago Tribune building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In January, Illinois launched an effort to cut wasteful Medicaid spending.  Instead of across-the-board cuts to all recipients the state attempted to find fraudulent applicants.  The initial results proved to be astonishing.  Of the 1st 20,500 recipients screened by the outside contractor, the auditors recommended that 13,709 be removed.  Two-thirds of the initial group proved to be ineligible.

The auditors stated that in some cases the recipients made too much money to qualify for the benefits.  Others didn’t even live in the state!  Julie Hamos, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services chief, told the Chicago Tribune that the “first crop of screened recipients” were “low-hanging fruit.”  They were accounts that had been flagged by her departments as suspicious.  She says the percentage of fraudulent recipients should decrease as the audit continues.

You may be now asking yourself why this department, if they truly suspected fraud, waited until this endeavor began to “weed” out these frauds.  Illinois simply didn’t really care.  Once a person gained coverage, the state did nothing to ensure the applicants remained eligible.  Last year, state lawmakers were forced to cut Medicaid benefits to save money.  These cuts hurt recipients that truly needed the assistance.

Governor Pat Quinn has indicated he will accept the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.  The state will thus add an estimated 500,000 new people to the Medicaid rolls.  With the large influx of new recipients the state has to seriously undertake discovering fraudulent activity.

I’ve been advocating for a long time that I think the federal government should begin audits into EVERY budget.  Everyone who receives any benefit should be reexamined.  The country and individual states will find millions of dollars in cuts simply by catching people cheating the system.  Why no one has undertaken such an endeavor is beyond me?  If anything this new task force would create jobs throughout the country.

What ideas do you have to cuts costs?

Email: realtalkdebate2012@gmail.com

Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate

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About adrakontaidis

A conservative who doesn't pander to the GOP.

6 responses to “Audit Reveals Illinois Pays Thousands to Ineligible Medicaid Recipients”

  1. Nancy says :

    The wonderful government will say that they don’t have the funds to start a new department to audit themselves. All of the government departments should have internal and external auditors. If there are auditors, they are slacking on the job, typical. Goes along with the $100.00 toilet seats of the 70’s.

  2. Wayne says :

    Let me try to understand this: For years, Illinois social service and educational organizations have seen their budget reduced, services cut and individuals and families suffer because of Illinois’ budget problems….and just now they’re taking action to take reduce wasteful Medicaid spending? Why are not our state’s governmental and department leaders held accountable for this? Think of how much our most vulnerable state Illinois citizens have suffered, had their lives put on hold and even died waiting for some assistance? Our state–our so-called leaders should be ashamed…and resign.

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      Yup, these are the idiots leading this state. Now wonder we are in such a dire state. It’s actually quite embarrassing. They should definitely be ashamed of all the people who suffered and died because of their incompetence and laziness.

      Thanks for the comment!

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