Haralson County deputies believe they have uncovered at least 20 incidents in which former jail inmates have illegally benefited from health insurance they were provided when incarcerated in the Haralson County Jail.
Investigator Heather Mecillas says a number of former inmates have run up costs on the sheriff’s office medical bills of close to $250,000 over a three year period.
The issue was discovered by the new sheriff’s administration, shortly after they took office in 2021.
“After (Stacy Williams) took office, he realized our medical bills for the inmates were really high,” Mecillas told WLBB Radio on Monday. “I found out that a lot of the individuals (running up charges) were no longer inmates, but were still using our insurance that they are not supposed to be able to use.”
Mecillas says one insurance company has so far reviewed transactions for a single year. However, HCSO investigators believe there is illegal usage going back at least three years.
“We have the state insurance investigators involved. We are dealing with Anthem and Blue Cross/ Blue Shield,” she said. “Over $200,000 total where they were allowed to use our insurance when they were not incarcerated.”
She says the state insurance commissioner has taken over the investigation of the individuals who used the insurance illegally— and those people are likely to face charges.
“At this point we have been able to recoup about $50,000 back from Anthem,” Mecillas said. “Anthem has gone back to the hospitals—or providers and said a number of uses should not have been allowed. So, we have gotten some of the money back… and we hope to get more.”
Mecillas and Sheriff Stacy Williams were guests on Monday’s WLBB Community Voice program.