A wonderful post by John Goodman:
- 60 Minutes: Medicare fraud is $60 billion a year
YouTube versions w/o commercials: Part 1, Part 2.
- GAO: Medicaid fraud was $33 billion in 2007 alone [page 32]
- Fortune Magazine: The top 14 insurers earned $8.6 billion last year
These figures per Medicare recipient:
Number of Medicare recipients: 44.8 million … For $60 billion in annual fraud, that’s $1339 in annual fraud per Medicare recipient.
Number of Medicaid recipients: 58.7 million … For $33 billion in annual fraud, that’s $562 in annual fraud per Medicaid recipient.
Number of insured: 300.5 million. Estimate $10 billion in annual profits, that’s $33 in profit per insured person.
Note that not all insurance companies are for-profit, and 57% of those with employer-based plans are self-funded, so it’s not clear who gets the profit. Still, even if subtracting these two figured decreased the number of insured by profit-making insurers by one-third, the profit per insured person would be just $100 per year.
And remember, profit is good! In a free-market at least. It’s reward for selling what people want while keeping costs low. Yet, insurance company profits would be lower if politicians did not shield them from competition.