According to a report released this week by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, $750 million in Affordable Care Act subsidies went to illegal immigrants or individuals whose status was not properly verified.
The report, spearheaded by Sen. Ron Johnson, found more than half a million people received the funds in the form of advanced premium tax credits, which the Internal Revenue Service and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have no viable plan to recover.
Currently, the agency is using a “pay and chase” model where a portion of the premium is paid before the enrollee is verified, followed by the IRS chasing after the payment when the enrollee is deemed ineligible.
The committee’s findings said agencies did not coordinate on a plan to retrieve the funds.
“Even though the IRS ultimately assumed responsibility for the recoupment process, it still lacks an effective plan,” the report reads. “Instead, the IRS plans to rely on tax forms that do not solicit the information required to identify or recoup improperly awarded credits.”
According to Johnson, the plan the agency developed is “ineffective and insufficient.”
CMS said individuals’ failure to provide the necessary documentation does not necessarily mean they are not eligible for the credits.
“Lack of verification does not mean an individual is ineligible for financial assistance, but only that a Marketplace did not receive sufficient information to verify eligibility in the time period outlined in the law,” CMS spokesman Aaron Albright told Fox News.
The Senate committee’s findings fall in line with a Government Accountability Office report released in July showing 11 out of 12 times federal investigators provided fraudulent documents, they were accepted by the federal health care exchange and provided subsides.
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