New IRS chief talks PPACA fraudNews added by Benefits Pro on February 6, 2014

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By Allison Bell

Consumers could try to to defraud the federal health insurance tax credit program by having the Internal Revenue Service send the money to a relative at a health insurer.

More consumers could try to defraud the program by lying about their income.

John Koskinen, the new IRS commissioner, talked about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act premium tax credit fraud possibilities today at a hearing on the IRS organized by the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee.

Allegations that the IRS might have misused questions about political activity to attack organizations affiliated with the Tea Party movement overshadowed talk about PPACA at the hearing.

About an hour in, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., asked Koskinen about how the IRS will deal with the possibility that crooks could try to siphon off some of the $900 billion in PPACA tax credits the IRS might pay out over a 10-year period.

Jenkins cited estimates that about 80 percent of the people who buy coverage through the exchanges will qualify for and use the credits.

Koskinen said he believes the design of the program will discourage fraud, by keeping people without accomplices at the insurance companies from getting cash up front.

Koskinen said the IRS has more concerns about misrepresentation of income.

“We’re developing screens for that,” he said.

But exchange plans already are sending the government lists of who is paying for policies, Jenkins said.

To get tax-credit-related refunds, filers will have to show they had and paid for qualified coverage, he said.

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