KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Maryville woman has been charged with a Class C felony after allegedly failing to report her true household income in order to qualify for TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
Autumn N. Lowe, 32, is charged with one count TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000 but under $60,000, a Class D felony, according to the Office of Inspector General.
Investigators allege that Lowe falsely reported her income and employment status to qualify herself and a dependent for TennCare, resulting in the program paying more than $23,260.00 in fees and claims on her behalf.
“An integral requirement to qualify for TennCare is properly reporting income and employment information,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “The Office of Inspector General strives to protect our taxpayers’ hard-earned money and ensure that those who attempt to deceive our Medicaid program will be brought to justice.”
The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney General Mike L. Flynn of Blount County.
To date, 3,118 people have been charged with TennCare fraud. The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, has investigated over 5,760 criminal cases leading to more than $10.8 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. TennCare’s budget is comprised of both federal and state dollars: 65% and 35% respectfully.
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 or by logging on to www.tn.gov/oig/ and following the prompts that read “Report TennCare fraud.”