Unlike other types of fraud, health fraud can cost you more than just money — in some instances, such as unknowingly taking counterfeit or unapprov­ed medication, it can cost you your life.

 

The Canadian Health Care Anti-fraud Association estimates health fraud costs Canadians $5 billion to $15 billion annually.

 

Health fraud is committed by both patients and health-care providers and includes a complex variety of activities, including bogus weight-loss schemes, bogus cancer cures, billing for services not rendered, billing for unnecessary treatment, malingering (exaggerating one’s illness or injury to collect more benefits), selling drugs and devices that have not been proven effective, filling false claims and more.

 

Even if you haven’t been directly defrauded, the few individuals bilking Canada’s health system means less of your money is spent supporting health care. As CHCAA explains, $15 billion can hire 20,000 new doctors and buy about 5,000 MRI machines.