|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Rutherford County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for withholding information to receive TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Smyrna police today announced the arrest of Christine Dawn Young, 32 of Smyrna. Young has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count theft of services over $10,000.
In a two-count indictment, Young is accused of under reporting her household income to the state in order to enroll herself and her family in TennCare, even though they were not eligible.
“It’s a simple message we’re sending out – people who give bad information to get TennCare benefits risk going to jail for fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Some people think they won’t get caught, but we’re proving day after day that the chances are good that we will catch up with them.”
Illegally obtaining TennCare medical benefits is a Class E felony that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison. Theft of services over $10,000 is a Class C Felony that carries up to 6 years in prison. District Attorney General William Whitesell, Jr., will prosecute this case.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,300 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."