Most people know what Medicaid and Medicare are. For those who dont, Medicaid is a government run health insurance program that allows low income citizens access to the healthcare that they need. Medicare is a similar program, however, ones income levels are not the determining factor for eligibility, but rather ones age. Medicare is a government run health insurance program that allows senior citizens access to the healthcare that they need.
The problem with these two programs is that they are so big; they have a lot of fraud associated with them. And that is not for lack of preventative measures, but rather because those intent on committing fraud find it easier to defraud the government because the government is less personal.
The Size of Medicare and Medicaid
It is estimated that the entire healthcare industry is around $2.5 trillion. Medicaid and Medicare make up roughly one half of that amount, and they help millions of people receive treatment when they need it most.
The Size of Medicaid and Medicare Fraud
The FBI estimates that healthcare fraud, for the entire industry, runs between 3% and 10%. This means there is between $75 billion and $250 billion worth of fraud committed every single year in just this industry. However, many experts agree that the fraud committed against Medicare and Medicaid represents a much greater proportion. Fraud committed against these two programs may be as high as $200 billion every single year. That is a lot of taxpayer money going toward something that it is not supposed to go toward.
Out of the potential $200 billion very little is collected. In fact, in 2011 about $1.7 billion was recovered. This means there is up to $198 billion defrauded from the system.
You can Help
Fortunately, you can help. If you know of a company or a person that is intentionally defrauding Medicare or Medicaid, you can blow the whistle on them. By filing a qui tam lawsuit you can not only help the government recover money that was essentially stolen, but you can earn a reward of up to 30% of the settlement.
If you do help blow the whistle, myself and other taxpayers thank you for helping recover our stolen money.