Clarification and correction: Jake Troyer of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry clarified the pilot audit as part of the HELP Act identified fraud instances in the Unemployment Insurance Program.
Montana identified over $830,000 in Medicaid payments that went out to people who don’t deserve the federal-state healthcare program aimed at helping the working poor.
Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, known as the HELP Act, was passed by the 2015 Montana Legislature and signed into law. It contained a provision to tackle waste, fraud and abuse.
“What was really interesting was within the first three weeks of actually looking at records, we as a state were able to find that we overpaid over $830,000,” says Senator Ed Buttrey, the sponsor of Senate Bill 405.
Buttrey says the pilot study identified people who were collecting Montana Medicaid payments but had moved out of state, were deceased, or were using a stolen identity.
Buttrey says with the success of the pilot project, he’s looking forward to having it applied to the rest of those who are receiving health care under the HELP Act.
“We need to use it to find bad actors. And folks that are bad actors need to understand that they’re going to get caught,” he says. “The bottom line is the taxpayer won’t be spending money for the government to subsidize the folks that don’t deserve it.”
The Republican from Great Falls says the state will stop payments to those who are now ineligible and officials will try to recoup that money.