Social Security's Office of Inspector General (OIG) has done a study using a database of persons who are receiving Social Security retirement benefits but who have not used Medicare in the preceding three years even though they are 96 years of age or older. OIG estimates that if Social Security contacted or attempted to contact these people, that they would find that the agency is paying benefits to several hundred deceased individuals. OIG estimates that $99 million could be saved if this were done.
Unfortunately, it takes manpower to do this sort of thing and Social Security has less manpower and more and more work to do. Projects like this which would save money are deferred because the agency has to answer its telephones and deal with people filing claims.
There's no way around it. It comes up all the time. You have to spend a little money at Social Security to save a lot of money in benefit payments. Republicans in Congress have a hard time understanding a concept that any businessperson can quickly grasp.