Workers' Compensation Fraud: A "Victimless Crime"?
Workers’ Compensation insurance fraud is a “victimless crime” so no one really gets hurt, right? Wrong!
The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that insurance fraud in the United States tops $80 billion every year and costs each family approximately $950 in expenses that could be better used elsewhere . Everything from the insurance rates we pay, to the price for groceries, and the cost for household products are affected by fraud.
There are truly no “winners “when it comes to insurance fraud. The perpetrators of these crimes aren’t really winning since when they are caught, not only do they have to pay a large fine but they can also spend long periods of time in jail. And the perpetrator’s family doesn’t win, since their income and support is lost when imprisoned.
The unfortunate reality is that workers’ compensation insurance fraud is a common occurrence, but it often goes unreported even by the very people that are most affected by it. Employers and other employees often turn a blind eye to the problem because they do not want to get involved. Some of the more common reasons fraud goes unreported are:
- “It’s only a small amount of money…”
- “I’m not sure who to talk to about it…”
- “I don’t want anyone to know it was me that reported it…”
- “The big insurance company can afford it…”
Insurance fraud is still a crime, even if it’s only a few hundred dollars; there is no minimal amount of money that makes this crime acceptable. Employers and employees alike need to address this issue and not just accept it as a fact of life. If you believe workers’ compensation insurance fraud is occurring in your workplace, MEMIC has created two ways to report it anonymously: 1) fill out a confidential form on www.memic.com and submit it electronically to MEMIC or; 2) call 1(800) ABUSE WC.
You can also access additional information through MEMIC’s website at the following link: 10 helpful ways to prevent fraud from occurring in your place of business.