I recently attended a presentation from Sean Clifford, Colorado First Assistant Attorney General, concerning insurance fraud and found some of the presented statistics very interesting. The statistics presented were what Americans’ perceptions were of insurance fraud.
- One out of five adult Americans (about 45 million people) believe it is ok to defraud insurers (insurance companies or providers).
- Nearly one of ten Americans would commit insurance fraud if they knew they would get away with it.
- One out of three Americans say it is ok for employees to stay off work and receive workers compensation benefits because they feel pain, even though their doctor returns them to work.
- One out of five employed workers say they have been aware of fraud in their workplace.
The FBI reports that the total cost of insurance fraud (non-health insurance) is estimated to be more than $40 billion per year (yes that is billion with a “b”). Additional conservative estimates for insurance fraud including health insurance come out to be roughly $80 billion. These costs of fraud are passed on to all of us in higher premiums, service fees and costs of goods. Insurance fraud is seen as a “low risk – high reward” crime by its perpetrators, resulting in rising claims year over year. The Colorado AG office has seen an increase of 24% in referrals over the past year.
Don’t be like the reported two-of-five people who are “not very likely” or “not likely at all” to report someone who defrauded an insurer (Coalition against Insurance Fraud). Help reduce this rising cost to all Americans by reporting suspected fraud to the state or local authorities, insurers or consumer watch agencies. Additionally clients of StaffScapes should report any suspected fraud or other concerns to their representative as soon as possible.
Included below are some additional resources regarding insurance fraud:
Colorado Attorney General website
Additional statistics from the Coalition against Insurance Fraud
What insurance fraud is and how to report it, from NAIC