FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Hawkins County woman is charged with fraudulently obtaining TennCare benefits by falsely claiming her young children lived with her, in order to qualify for TennCare benefits.
Henegar is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of property. An indictment says she obtained TennCare medical assistance benefits by claiming her children were dependents. Otherwise, she would not be eligible for TennCare.
“The message in this case is simple - if you lie, cheat or steal to get TennCare benefits, you risk going to jail, or having to repay the state for your medical expenses,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.
District Attorney General C. Berkley Bell will prosecute. If convicted, Henegar could serve up to four years for the theft of services charge which is a Class D felony and two years for the TennCare fraud charge, which is a Class E felony.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,700 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 log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."