Illinois Medicaid paid dead people $12 million in services

Photo Credit: Todd Wiseman/Texastribune.org
Photo Credit: Todd Wiseman/Texastribune.org

The state of Illinois, already $130 billion in debt to pensioners, just cannot watch its pennies. A memo obtained by The Associated Press revealed that its Medicaid program paid out $12 million in services for dead people in other states, Fox News reported Friday.

Auditors discovered that approximately 2,900 people had received over-payments for medical services after they died. The two agencies responsible for oversight, Healthcare and Family Services and Human Services, say they have addressed the problem and collected $7 million in back payments, with the remaining $5 million to be recouped by year’s end, according to Fox News.

State Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, accused Democrats of using “empty rhetoric” when they claimed they had resolved the problem.

“I wish this administration would spend more time trying to solve the problems rather than trying to convince taxpayers that they’ve already solved them,” he said.

Following 2012 legislation to reform Medicaid, the state hired a private company, Maximus, to verify its eligibility rolls, and it was able to reduce the list by 40 percent. But the contract was not renewed after an arbitrator agreed with the all-powerful state employee union’s objections, and state workers took over the job.

While politicians traded barbs over accountability and responsibility, the two state agencies announced that they are updating their systems “to ensure any current enrollees who pass away are entered into our eligibility system by the date of their death, and that deceased individuals are not enrolled in managed care,” according to Fox.

Illinois’ legend for active dead people lives on.

Richard Berkow GET AUTHOR RSS FEED

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]

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