Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa (left), wrote to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking her to tighten scrutiny of Medicare Advantage plans. Jacquelyn Martin/AP, J. Scott Applewhite/AP
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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley has asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch to tighten scrutiny of Medicare Advantage health plans suspected of overcharging the government, saying billions of tax dollars are at risk as the popular senior care program grows.

In May 19 letters to Lynch and Andrew M. Slavitt, acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Grassley wanted to know what both agencies have done, together and apart, to stamp out overcharges that have plagued the privately run insurance program for years.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa (left), wrote to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking her to tighten scrutiny of Medicare Advantage plans.
 Jacquelyn Martin/AP, J. Scott Applewhite/AP

“Safeguards become all the more important as Medicare Advantage adds more patients and billions of dollars of hard-earned taxpayer money is at stake,” the Iowa Republican wrote.

Medicare Advantage plans have gained popularity as an alternative to the government-run Medicare program in recent years, and the plans now cover some 16 million people.