The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services paid $9.3 million in benefits to illegal immigrants in 2013 and 2014, according to an audit from the agency’s inspector general.
“Medicare benefits are generally allowable when rendered to a beneficiary whom the Social Security Administration has determined to be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national,” the audit explains. “Medicare does not pay for services rendered to beneficiaries who are unlawfully present on the date of service.”
Laws governing the agency require it to ensure that payments for Medicare services are not made to individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States. The agency is required to take steps to prevent improper payments from occurring and recoup improper payments if they are made.
“[The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] had policies and procedures to ensure that payments were not made for Medicare services rendered to unlawfully present beneficiaries in accordance with Federal requirements, but it did not always follow those policies and procedures,” the audit said.