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There are multiple ways to obtain affordable health insurance coverage if you live in Wyoming. Your employer can provide it to you, you can purchase a plan on Healthcare.gov or directly from a broker or a health insurance company, and you can also buy a cheap short-term insurance plan. You can apply for Medicare if you are 65 and over or have a qualifying disability. If your income falls below a certain limit, you may be eligible for Medicaid.
Read this guide to learn about your health insurance options, their costs, and how to enroll a plan.
If you’re interested in an ACA plan, the first thing you’ll need to do is create an account on Healthcare.gov.
Once you have an account, you can apply for health insurance. The Health Insurance Marketplace checks your eligibility for Medicaid and uses the information you provide to determine if you qualify for an Advanced Premium Tax Credit. Make sure you have the full name, birth date, and Social Security number of every person in your family who needs coverage before you start the application process.
The application will ask you several questions related to your income and family, including the following:
Once you finish setting up your account, you’ll be able to view up to three plans side by side in order to help you select one that suits your family’s budget and health care needs. Depending on your income, many of these plans offer tax credits and other savings benefits.
State residents can purchase health insurance coverage from the following companies:
There are some important considerations when shopping for individual coverage, whether for yourself or multiple people. These considerations include:
When shopping for an individual plan, your budget and your overall health are the two most important factors to consider. For most plans, the monthly premium isn’t your only out-of-pocket cost. You also have to think about the deductible, the copay for each service, and the coinsurance requirements.
If you’re in good health and don’t plan to use your insurance often, you may save the most money by enrolling in the plan with the lowest premium. You’ll be covered in the event of a sudden illness or injury, but you won’t have to worry about paying a high premium each month.
If you have a chronic health condition, however, you need to weigh the low premium against other out-of-pocket costs. A plan that costs $350 per month and has a $500 deductible may be a better fit for your financial needs than a plan that costs $250 per month and has a $5,000 deductible if you require regular medical care. A more expensive plan may also give you access to more specialists or better coverage for your prescriptions.
There are different types of plans you can choose from:
If you need coverage for multiple people, you need to think about how each person might use the plan. A spouse may need maternity care or fertility services, while a child might need to be covered for a tonsillectomy or other common childhood procedure. Review the plan details carefully to make sure the services you need are covered. If someone in your family receives specialty care, you should also check to make sure the specialist participates in the plan’s network.
Another consideration for family plans is that many plans have an individual deductible and a family deductible. An individual deductible applies to each person covered by the plan, while the family deductible applies to the entire family. If one of your family members is hospitalized or undergoes an expensive surgery, it’s possible to meet the family deductible before every person on the plan has met their individual deductible.
Healthcare.gov insurance plans in Wyoming are organized in four metal tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, which indicate the level of coverage. All plans available on Healthcare.gov offer quality health coverage. While Wyoming has some of the highest premiums in the country, there are free bronze plans (and even some Gold plans) if you qualify for subsidies.
|Average premiums in Wyoming||2019||2020||2021||2022|
|Most affordable bronze plan||$577||$590||$519||$507|
|Most affordable silver plan||$858||$875||$785||$745|
|Most affordable gold plan||$716||$732||$645||$631|
Low-income households in Wyoming may qualify for Medicaid. Children without health insurance can get coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance program. As of February 2021, the state has enrolled 65,245 individuals in Medicaid and in CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program).
To be eligible for Medicare in Wyoming, you need to reside in the state, be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or a legal alien who needs health care coverage, and your income must be described as low or very low. You also need to belong to one of the following categories:
Individuals or families whose income is at or below 140% of the federal poverty level (FPL) qualify for Medicaid in Wyoming. Those who are in the categories listed above can obtain health insurance with different income requirements in relation to the FPL. A wide variety of resources are factored in when considering income, including a pension, Social Security, salary from a job, or earnings from real estate or stocks.
There are also asset or resource limits for those seeking assistance from Medicaid. While these can vary, in most cases it is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. Your home, household appliances, and your primary car are not taken into account when calculating your total assets.
Wyoming offers two levels of health insurance for children with no coverage. Kid Care CHIP provides healthcare for the children of working parents. This includes free dental care, prescription medicines and immunizations. Other services are also available for a small co-pay.
The Medicaid Children’s Program provides health coverage for eligible children from birth through the age of 18. This plan is broken down into two levels based on the recipient’s situation: children aged 0 to 5 whose family income is at or below 154% of the FPL, and children who are 6 to 18 years old with a household income at or below 133% of the FPL.
Both plans provide preventive health services, mental health care, vision care, physical therapy, and medically necessary orthodontics.
If you’re worried about out-of-pocket costs that come with Original Medicare, consider purchasing a Medicaid Supplemental Insurance plan, which is designed to help pay for the deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance associated with Original Medicare, although vision, dental, hearing, or long-term care are not included. If you’re thinking about traveling, this type of plan is also a good idea for you because it may provide health coverage outside of the United States. Keep in mind that supplemental plans don’t work with Medicare Advantage.
If you start receiving your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits at least four months before you turn 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare. Otherwise, you must fill out an application online or contact your local Social Security office. You can enroll in Medicare during the following periods:
The Wyoming State Health Insurance Information Program provides free, unbiased, and confidential counseling to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, or their caregivers about their health insurance options. This includes Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicare Part D, and other plans. You can speak to these trained and certified counselors in person or over the phone, and since none of them work for a healthcare company, you can rest assured that they won’t try to sell you a plan.
Yes. Wyoming uses federal guidelines for short-term health care coverage, which means these plans may have an initial duration of up to 364 days and can be renewed three times. However, Wyoming’s former Insurance Commissioner warned state residents in 2016 to approach short-term insurance with caution, since these plans set lifetime or yearly dollar limits, don’t pay for preventive health care, and exclude many accidental injuries. The Commissioner also noted that short-term insurance does not cover preexisting conditions.
No, Wyoming residents aren’t required to have health insurance. At the federal level, the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate requiring all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty was repealed in 2019.
No. However, plans on the marketplace may qualify for reductions and tax advantages, so if you decide to get coverage directly from a broker or health insurance company, you will miss out on these benefits.
The most commonly available cost-sharing options in Wyoming are faith-based plans, which make healthcare more affordable by dividing the cost among recipients. You don’t need to be a member of a particular church, or belong to any denomination, to be eligible. However, these plans don’t conform to ACA standards, which means they don’t have to cover preexisting conditions or other essential health care benefits. Before you participate in a faith-based plan, make sure it covers any health issue that affects you or your family.
Yes. It’s difficult to save enough money using HSA/FSA to pay for a serious illness or injury. Instead, you can use these accounts to afford the cost of your deductibles, co-payments, or vision and dental care.
Short-term disability is designed to cover household costs when you’re injured. These expenses aren’t covered by health insurance, so if you work in a risky field and you’re likely to get hurt, it might be a good idea to have a short-term disability plan.
If you have a dangerous job where serious injuries occur frequently, such as in construction, you’d be well advised to have long-term disability coverage. Health insurance doesn’t pay for most household expenses you incur when you’re unable to work, such as mortgage, food, water and electricity.
Kid Care CHIP, one of Wyoming’s two levels of coverage for minors with no insurance, includes dental care, preventive services, and immunizations. Recipients can also access other services after contributing a small co-payment.
Services covered by the Medicaid Children’s Program include prescription medicines, mental health care, orthodontics, and dental or vision care.