A Federal District Court judge in Chicago has ruled that insurance company Amerigroup Corp. and its affiliate Amerigroup Illinois owe more than $334 million in damages and penalties for discriminating against pregnant women.
Last October a federal jury found both companies liable for systematically defrauding Medicaid and awarded $48 million, which was automatically tripled under the federal False Claims Act and the Illinois Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act to $144 million. Judge Harry D. Leinenweber added to that amount more than $190 million in civil penalties.
The suit originated as a whistleblower case brought under the qui tam provisions of the state and federal acts. The companies, paid to set up a Medicaid managed care program in the state, deliberately and illegally set out to avoid signing up pregnant women and others with expensive health conditions.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois issued a March 13, 2007 press release. Crain's Chicago Business ran a March 14, 2007 story.