The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has improperly paid millions of dollars to Medicare Advantage organizations on behalf of illegal immigrants.
In a new report released Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) revealed that for calendar years 2010 through 2012, CMS provided $26.2 million in improper payments to Medicare Advantage organizations for 1,600 “unlawfully present beneficiaries” — or nearly $16,375 per illegal immigrant.
According to the OIG, CMS did not have policies in place to notify the Medicare Advantage organizations about the legality of potential beneficiaries. Without such data, illegal immigrants were able to enroll with Medicare Advantage organizations.
“In contrast to its fee-for-service (FFS) program, CMS did not have policies and procedures to notify the MA organizations of the unlawful-presence information in its data systems. Had CMS provided this information to the MA organizations, they would have been able to prevent enrollment and to disenroll beneficiaries already enrolled,” the report reads. “CMS would then have been able to recoup any improper payments.”