The Office of the Legislative Auditor released an audit today that found 7% of the Medical Assistance enrollees reviewed were not deemed eligible for the program.
Senator Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Reform Committee, said, “Minnesotans are generous; we want to help when people fall on hard times, but we won’t stand for our hard-earned tax dollars to be wasted. Every audit that’s been done of DHS’s assistance programs has shown considerable errors, which translates into hundreds of millionsof dollars of services that have been given to people who don’t need them. The lax enforcement by DHS and the counties is undermining the entire safety net.”
The audited population receives nearly $7 billion in MA benefits, according to the report. If the 7% ineligibility rate is accurate across the board, it would translate to nearly $500 million in waste. The audit did not confirm or deny the possibility that hundreds of millions of dollars could be wasted, noting the sample size “does not permit us to reliably estimate the error in the overall population.”
Senator Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake), Chair of the Legislative Audit Commission, added, “In 7% of cases, the people who received taxpayer-funded assistance were not deemed eligible for it – that is extremely concerning. In light of these findings, the Legislative Auditor needs to dig deeper. Minnesotans deserve to know if this is yet another example of widespread waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars. If so, the DHS commissioner needs to be held accountable.”