According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Healthcare insurance fraud is estimated to be an $80 billion per year criminal enterprise. I’ve seen reports that estimate that number to be as much as $226 billion per year. Whether you believe the figure is $80 billion or $226 billion is not relevant. What is relevant is the impact on healthcare insurance that these fraudulent transactions have on all Americans. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud reports that two out of every three Americans tolerate insurance fraud to varying degrees. They also reported that two out of every five Americans want little or no punishment for insurance cheats; they blame the insurance industry for its fraud problems because they believe insurers are unfair.

I’m not sure if those surveyed really recognize the financial impact they personally experience as a result of those crimes. Each family in the U.S. pays more than $800 extra in healthcare costs every year because of healthcare fraud, according to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Organized crime is heavily involved in healthcare fraud. Why? Because they view it as being far safer than drug trafficking or armed robbery, with lower penalties and easy money.

We would probably sleep easier if we thought these crimes were only being perpetrated by organized crime. Unfortunately, this is not the case. As the article below demonstrates, the lure of quick and easy money hits all walks of life.

Medicare Fraud strike force charges 89 individuals for approximately $223 million in false billing | U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.