People think of Medicare and Medicaid fraud is something that is only being committed by unscrupulous doctors and medical agencies charging the government for millions of dollars of treatments that never happened…and this is absolutely true.
But caregivers and seniors can commit Medicaid fraud as well.
Good Medicaid planning does not involve relying on hiding assets or any other illegal means.
When you fill out the Medicaid application, this is not the time to suffer from case of “selected amnesia” and forget to list certain assets that you own or neglecting to list certain gifts to relatives that you have made.
This is called Medicaid fraud and anyone who is convicted…
1) Is libel to the government for damages of up to 2-3 times the amount of the benefits fraudulently received.
2) Penalties ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 for each false claim that is submitted.
3) Has to reimburse the government for the costs associated with bringing the legal action against them.
4) Can spend up to one year in jail for each false claim submitted.
5) Can be barred from receiving Medicaid for up to line year.
And these are just the Federal penalties for Medicaid fraud. You also have to deal with the statutes of the state you will in…PLUS anyone who files suit against you on behalf of the government for Medicaid fraud is entitled to a reward of 15%-30% of the penalties that are eventually imposed on you.
This means that your neighbors and relatives are turned into whistle blowers for the government.
So regardless of what you think you can get away with…its not worth it. My mother currently is receiving a $14,000 a month benefit as a nursing home resident. And I could not imagine the horror of having to pay that back or pay fines associated with that.
And I also understand it can be tempting. The process that the government makes you go through to qualify is so arduous it is natural to want to cut a few corners. But the penalties are way too severe for you to reasonably consider it.
Medicaid fraud just isn’t worth it for caregivers.