Georgia Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Georgia woman is charged with TennCare fraud for falsely reporting her residence in order to obtain benefits from the state’s taxpayer-funded healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Jamie D. Thomason, 39, of Rossville, Georgia. A Hamilton County indictment charges her with TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000 in connection with fraudulently reporting she lived in Tennessee in order to appear eligible for TennCare. Thomason actually resided in Rossville, Georgia, just across the state line from Hamilton County.
“It’s a simple equation: anyone who lies, cheats, or steals to get TennCare benefits is at great risk of going to jail,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Before the OIG was formed, there wasn’t a way of dealing with non-Tennessee residents getting on TennCare, but we made this an early priority.”
District Attorney General Neal Pinkston is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,885 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 visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”