Health care fraud is a huge expense, and has markedly increased in the past decades. While salaries in the United States have only increased 38% in the past 10 years, healthcare costs have increased a whopping 131%, making healthcare costs in the U.S. over $2 trillion per year. Medicare is a large part of the domestic health care system, and its 44 million beneficiaries make Medicare worth $450 billion. Medicare fraud is at an all-time high, with a projected $1 trillion stolen from the system within the next decade.

Medicare isn’t the only healthcare sector that loses money due to fraud — each year, $80 billion is lost in the U.S. healthcare industry. Fraudsters create dummy companies and send out fake medical bills, and digital information is sometimes compromised. These criminals average almost $20,000 per fraudulent incident, which is four times the amount gained through overall identity theft. There is a ray of hope, however. The government has been aggressively fighting healthcare fraud, with prosecution rates rising over 800% in the past two decades. Since 2009, almost $11 billion in funds have been recovered for Medicare.

While the government is cracking down on prosecuting fraudsters, and working to reclaim the billions of dollars lost per year, the consumer has a responsibility to analyze and investigate their own medical bills. 40% of Americans admit to not understanding the content of their medical bills; you are not alone. More than half of confused patients don’t ask their healthcare providers for clarification. It’s time to end that trend. Know why you’re being billed and for what specifically, and don’t be afraid to dispute a potentially fraudulent claim.