Lakewood: Medicaid Fraud Amnesty Program Criticized


New Jersey officials faced criticism of a program that allows residents of one county who received unwarranted Medicaid benefits to withdraw without prosecution.

Authorities had hoped Ocean County residents who would benefit from the program would attend the seminar held Tuesday night in Toms River. But the Asbury Park Press reports about three dozen people showed up and accused officials of going soft on crime.

Resident Molly Hernon says she and other residents grilled state Comptroller Phillip Degnan on the merits of the pilot program. She says people are getting away with taxpayer money.

The 90-day program comes after 26 Lakewood residents in June were accused of wrongfully collecting more than $2 million in public-assistance benefits. However, the program is not open to them.



  1. > She says people are getting away with taxpayer money.

    Other media report that those already arrested are not eligible. The so-called amnesty (available only to those not already arrested) involves full restitution plus a civil penalty (a “fine”) as well as a full year withdrawal from the Medicaid programs. This saves the taxpayer the costs of investigations and trial while being more than reimbursed for any alleged taxpayer money.

  2. “She says people are getting away with taxpayer money.”

    Isn’t that the very idea of the Amnesty Program? i.e. to get all those people OFF Medicaid, instead of having to investigate and find all not eligible..