Medicare Plan Options
If you’re aged 65 or older and live in Wyoming, you can choose between several types of Medicare plans. The benefits and eligibility requirements vary between plans, and your monthly premiums may increase if you delay enrolling, such as with Medicare Part B. Wyoming’s Medicare Advantage program, funded through private insurance companies, often bundles multiple benefits into separate Medicare plans. The best plan for you depends on your circumstances, including any ailments you or your spouse may have.
Original Medicare refers to Part A and B of the Original Medicare legislation. Part A provides hospital insurance, while Part B includes coverage for out-of-hospital expenses, such as visits to your doctor, specific medical equipment and supplies, and preventive care. Part A coverage for approved Medicare in-hospital costs for 60 days has an initial deductible of just over $1,400. After that, you have a 20% copayment. The 2021 annual deductible for Part B is $203, and 20% copayments are required for many of the covered services. Most Part A members don’t pay a monthly premium if they have more than 40 quarters of taxable employment. Premiums for Part B members are income-based.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Initially known as Medicare Part C, Wyoming’s Medicare Advantage plans offer Part A and B coverage with additional benefits. You can find these plans through Medicare-approved private insurance companies. Some of the additional coverages you can choose from are dental, hearing, and vision. Many plans include drug benefits. Your monthly premiums and copays (if applicable) will vary, depending upon the type of Medicare Advantage Plan you’ve selected. You may also have to use plan-approved doctors, hospitals, and specialists. Wyoming’s Medicare Advantage plans have an annual out-of-pocket expense limit, above which the plan pays all approved medical expenses.
Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Plans
Wyoming’s Medicare Prescription Drug plans, also known as Medicare Part D, cover medication prescribed by your doctor. Most plans have a deductible that must be paid before the plan starts kicking in. After that, these plans pay the full cost of drugs on the insurer’s approved list, also known as a formulary. All plans must include drugs for certain protected conditions, such as cancer and HIV. Most Medicare Part D plans have a period, also known as a donut hole, when you must pay a higher percentage of drug costs. Medicare sets the specific amounts required to enter and leave the donut hole. Medicare Part D plans can’t be used with most Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans
Supplementary insurance plans, also known as Medigap, help cover the costs of copayments, deductibles, and medical expenses not covered by Medicare Part A and B. Medigap policies are standardized across all states. Wyoming allows no more than 10 standardized Medigap plans plus a high-deductible Plan G. Medigap buyers must have Medicare Part B. Each Medigap policy covers one person, so a married couple would need two policies. Some Medigap policies don’t provide coverage for long-term care, dental, optical, and hearing aids.
Medicare in Wyoming by the Numbers
People enrolled in Original Medicare
Average plan cost
Annual state spending per beneficiary
Spending per beneficiary compared to the national average
Plan A: $0 to $471 per month*
Plan B: $148.50 per month**
*Most people pay no premium, but this can vary depending on how long they paid Medicare taxes.
**This is the average number, but it can vary based on income.
Medicare Resources in Wyoming
With so many Medicare options available, seeking impartial advice from local experts can be especially helpful. State and regional organizations, many run by volunteers who understand the intricacies of Wyoming’s unique Medicare options, are a great source of information. In most instances, Medicare options counseling is free, as is assistance in preparing application forms, making claims, and disputing rejected claims.
Wyoming Senior Citizens, INC.
WSCI is a nonprofit organization formed in 1975 to assist Wyoming’s older residents. It administers the Wyoming State Health Insurance Program, offering free assistance and unbiased counseling. The organization’s trained counselors provide guidance and can help you select the best combination of Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans to meet your specific needs. WSCI has offices in Cheyenne, Riverton, and Casper and volunteer counselors in most counties across the state. Other services include Senior Medicare Patrol, long-term care ombudsman, and a senior companion program.
Contact Information: Website | 800-856-4398
Wyoming Insurance Department
The Wyoming Insurance Department is a state agency tasked with enforcing insurance laws and regulations within Wyoming. WID publishes several guides dealing with Medicare and long-term care issues, including a Medigap Insurance Buyer Guide that provides specific information regarding Medicare supplemental insurance as it applies to Wyoming. This guide is updated annually. If you’re interested in seeking guidance regarding Medicare and other consumer-related insurance information, contact the department through its website.
Contact Information: Website | 307-777-7401
Legal Aid of Wyoming
Legal Aid of Wyoming is a federally-funded nonprofit firm that serves qualifying low-income residents of Wyoming and its 23 counties. It offers advice, free legal help, and representation on health care issues, such as securing Medicare coverage, information about state health care plans, and access to social benefits. Eligibility for services is based on citizenship, income, and residence in Wyoming.
Contact Information: Website | 307-432-0807
Wyoming Department of Health Aging Division
The Wyoming Aging Division provides programs and services for the elderly in all Wyoming counties. Its purpose is to increase the self-sufficiency and health of older adults and those with disabilities in the least restrictive manner. Programs in various counties include meal provision, caregivers, and supportive services. Older adults and disabled persons can access services through the community living section. The Wyoming Department of Health Aging Division website has numerous links to local agencies for the elderly and their families.
Contact Information: Website | 307-777-7995