WOMAN CHARGED WITH HELPING UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN USE HER TENNCARE CARD
NASHVILLE – A Nashville woman has been charged with TennCare fraud for allegedly using her TennCare card to get medical services for an undocumented alien.
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest
of 35-year-old Deborah
Garcia. Investigators arrested her at a women’s clinic at
Vanderbilt Medical Center. The arrest warrant alleges that Garcia
and Noemi Lopez Ramirez entered the clinic together, registering Ramirez
as Garcia so she could gain access to medical services to be paid
for by TennCare. Garcia is a TennCare enrollee and therefore entitled
to obtain medical services paid by TennCare. Lopez, who is pregnant,
is not enrolled in TennCare and is an undocumented alien.
The TennCare fraud charge against Garcia is a Class E felony, punishable by up to two years in prison. Bond was set at $5,000. Davidson County District Attorney Tory Johnson is prosecuting.
As required by Federal law, an illegal immigrant is entitled to emergency care, which all Medicaid programs are required to pay for. The Federal requirement extends only to emergency care required to stabilize a person’s physical condition.
Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982
toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tennessee.gov/tenncare
and follow the prompts that read “Report Fraud Now.”