TROUSDALE, CHEATHAM CO. RESIDENTS FORCED TO REPAY TENNCARE
NASHVILLE – A Trousdale County couple charged with TennCare fraud is ordered by a court to repay TennCare, after pleading guilty to concealing information to get on TennCare in two counties.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that Jerry Whitaker, 54, and his wife Janetta, 61, both of Hartsville, pleaded guilty to TennCare fraud charges lodged in both Smith and Trousdale Counties.
Governor Phil Bredesen created the OIG, one of the first units of its kind in the nation, in 2004. Since it became operational in February 2005, 264 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
The Whitakers were charged first in Smith County and later in Trousdale County for concealing that the wife had access to insurance through her employer. Under previous TennCare eligibility rules, some adults who met specific criteria could enroll in TennCare, even if they were not eligible for Medicaid - as long as they did not have access to insurance through their employer. TennCare reforms focused adult eligibility to Medicaid guidelines.
The Whitakers also received a suspended sentence that will mean ten years of probation and they must repay over $55,000 to TennCare.
In an unrelated case, a Cheatham County couple have been charged with TennCare fraud and must also repay TennCare for services they received while on the program. Ray McCormack, 43, and his wife, Deborah, 44, both pleaded guilty to TennCare fraud. Each of the McCormacks were charged with defrauding TennCare of more than $26,000 in medical assistance they were not eligible for because the husband refused health care insurance offered at his workplace, and his wife failed to report that he had access to insurance.
Both McCormacks have been ordered to repay TennCare over $26,000. They were each sentenced to 2 years, suspended and placed on probation. Cheatham County District Attorney General Dan Alsobrooks prosecuted this case.
“We will prosecute both husband and wife when an investigation points to both individuals, no matter who completes the TennCare application,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read “Report Fraud Now.”