Arkansas Woman Allegedly Broke Law to Obtain TennCare Benefits


Tennessee officials have charged more people with alleged TennCare fraud in two separate cases, including a woman from Arkansas.

According to a state press release, authorities say this Arkansan, Karen Wilson-Hicks, 52, moved from Tennessee but she knowingly did not report her new address. She allegedly did this to remain enrolled in the state healthcare insurance program.

Tennessee residency is an essential requirement for TennCare eligibility.

A Shelby County Grand Jury indicted Hicks for TennCare fraud and theft of property in connection with failing to report her change of residency, the press release went on to say.

If convicted, Hicks could face up to six years for theft of property, which is a class C felony, and four years on the TennCare fraud charge, which is a class D felony. Shelby County District Attorney Amy P. Weirich is prosecuting, according to the press release.

State officials, meanwhile, announced in a separate press release that they arrested a Shelby County man and charged him with TennCare fraud and theft of property.

Authorities charged that man, Terry Thomas, 52, of Memphis with two counts of obtaining benefits through TennCare although he did not qualify for the state health insurance program. They also charged him with one count of theft of property over $10,000, according to the press release.

The arrest is the result of a joint effort with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Fugitive Unit, the press release went on to say.

“Investigators say Thomas reported the mother of his dependent child did not live in his household, although evidence shows otherwise,” the press release said.

“This allowed him to avoid reporting the mother’s income, which would have disqualified him for TennCare.”

If convicted Mr. Thomas could face penalties of up to 14-years in prison for the charges, which include two class D felonies for TennCare fraud and a class C felony for the theft of property over $10,000.00.

As previously reported, many people from out-of-state are able to obtain TennCare benefits.

As The Tennessee Star reported in July, authorities were investigating 16 people in Georgia for receiving benefits from Tennessee’s Medicaid program.

Those 16 Georgians likely couldn’t get health care coverage in their home state, the paper went on to say.

As reported last month, a Mississippi woman allegedly committed more than $250,000 worth of TennCare fraud, and she must pay that money back.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]





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  1. […] The Tennessee Star reported last week, TennCare officials announced the arrest of an Arkansas woman, also on TennCare fraud […]