Tennessee Office of Inspector General officials has announced the indictment of a Georgia woman on charges of TennCare fraud and theft of services under $10,000, which are felonies.
Authorities say that woman, Ashlie Young, 30, of Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. made false claims to enroll in TennCare.
“Investigators say Young falsely reported that she had custody of her two children and that she also reported a Tennessee residence in order to obtain TennCare benefits, which she otherwise would not qualify for,” according to an OIG press release.
“As a result, authorities say TennCare paid $7,268.84 on her behalf for healthcare services.”
If convicted Young could face penalties of up to a maximum of 24 years in prison for both Class D felonies. District Attorney General Neal Pinkston of Hamilton County, is prosecuting, according to a press release.
OIG officials also announced that a Wilson County woman was charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services in connection with allegations that she used the identity of a TennCare member to access healthcare services for herself.
That woman, Jillian Garrett-Harris, of Mount Julie,t allegedly used the identity of a TennCare recipient in order to receive treatment for an injury by using the person’s TennCare benefits, according to a press release.
If convicted, Garrett-Harris could face penalties of up to a maximum of almost 13 years in prison for the combination of charges. District Attorney General Glenn R. Funk of Davidson County is prosecuting, according to a press release.
As reported in July, people from Georgia are robbing the taxpayers of Tennessee by taking TennCare benefits to which, legally, they are not entitled.
This, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, which said that month that authorities are 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.
This is currently the largest number of such cases originating from any state, the paper quoted Tennessee’s Office of the Inspector General as saying at the time.
“The impact’s huge,” Tennessee Inspector General Kim Harmon reportedly said.
“I was just looking at some of our numbers — per person, the average annual cost per enrollee is $4,062 per month. That means that Tennessee taxpayers are funding 30 percent of that.”
TennCare recipients must notify the state if they move, and they must periodically renew their status and state where they live, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
But the out-of-state cases of TennCare aren’t just coming out of Georgia.
As The Star reported in October, authorities charged a North Carolina resident, Julie Carpenter, with TennCare fraud.
Also, The Star reported, TennCare officials announced the arrest of an Arkansas woman, also on TennCare fraud charges.
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.
As reported, a Mississippi woman allegedly committed more than $250,000 worth of TennCare fraud, and she must pay that money back.
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