Doc and Hubby Cry Poor And Bilk State, Say Officials

Southington pediatrician has not been working for free, her teacher husband is not unemployed and they are not poor – so they should not have enrolled for the state’s low-income health insurance program, officials said.

Now Dr. Sari Friedman and her husband David Epstein, both 47-year-old West Hartford residents, are charged with more than medical bills.

Dr. Friedman and Epstein lied about their employment and income to enroll themselves and their three children in the state's HUSKY program in 2006, authorities said.

When they enrolled in the HUSKY program, Dr, Friedman was moving her practice to Southington and her husband was a stay at home dad, officials said.

A year and a half later, she was making $20,000 per month and he was teaching English but, according to the warrant, their children were still on the state health insurance plan. The program is designed to provide health insurance for poor children and their parents and is subsidized with Medicaid funds.

She allegedly billed Medicaid when she treated her own kids.

They both face larceny charges and a possible 20 years in prison.

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit received a complaint in October 2007 from Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which administers HUSKY, according to the Division of Criminal Justice.

The couple’s lawyers on camera said it was an "administrative oversight" and the question is whether they did anything criminal.

The couple asked to be taken off the state plan, the lawyers said and that what is in dispute is whether they did so in a timely manner.

State officials said they were three months late.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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