Medicare in Wyoming

Most Medicare beneficiares in the Cowboy State are enrolled in Original Medicare

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  • Contributor
  • December 31, 2018

Resources for Wyoming beneficiaries

State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) provide free, in-depth, one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, friends, and caregivers. SHIPs operate in all 50 states.

In Wyoming you can reach SHIP at 1-800-856-4398; or (307) 777-2448 or online here.

Snapshot of Medicare in Wyoming

Total Medicare enrollment in Wyoming

As of November 2018, there were 106,787 Wyoming Medicare beneficiaries. That’s a little more than 18 percent of the state’s total population, which is comparable to the overall percentage of the United States population enrolled in Medicare.

Read about Medicare’s open enrollment period and other important enrollment deadlines.

Breakdown of the aged vs. disabled

As of 2016, individuals who were eligible for Medicare based on their age (ie, being at least 65 years old) accounted for 87 percent of Wyoming Medicare recipients. The other 13 percent were on Medicare as the result of a disability. AlabamaKentucky, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico has the highest percentage of Medicare recipients who were eligible based on being disabled (23 percent). Hawaii and the Virgin Islands had the smallest percentage at 9 percent.

People who are under 65 but eligible for Medicare as a result of a disability do not have a federally-protected right to enroll in a Medigap plan. Although 27 insurers offer Medigap plans in Wyoming, only two of them will consider applicants who are under 65. But Wyoming’s high-risk pool is still operational for people who are unable to qualify for a Medigap plan due to medical underwriting.

Medicare spending per recipient

In 2015, Medicare spent an average of $7,417 per Original Medicare beneficiary in Wyoming (the costs for Medicare Advantage enrollees are not included in that analysis, but Wyoming has a much lower-than-average enrollment in private Medicare Advantage plans; nearly all of the state’s Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Original Medicare). The national average that year was $9,171 per enrollee, so costs were lower than average in Wyoming (the cost analysis was designed to eliminate geographic differences in payment rates).

Medicare Advantage in Wyoming

Medicare Advantage offers Americans health benefits through private plans instead of through Original — or traditional — Medicare (the federal government’s fee-for-service program). There are pros and cons to Medicare Advantage as an alternative to Original Medicare, but in the majority of Wyoming’s counties, there simply haven’t been any Medicare Advantage plans available for purchase.

In 2014 in Wyoming, 3 percent of all Medicare recipients chose a Medicare Advantage plan. That was unchanged as of 2017, and Wyoming was second only to Alaska in terms of having the lowest percentage of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. Nationwide, 33 percent of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans as of 2017.

Wyoming’s low uptake of Medicare Advantage plans is due in large part to the fact that 15 of the state’s 23 counties didn’t have any Medicare Advantage plans available for purchase. But Lasso Healthcare has started offering Medicare Savings Account plans (a type of Medicare Advantage plan) statewide in Wyoming as of 2019, so Medicare Advantage enrollment in the state could start to increase.

Stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plans

Wyoming had 65,392 enrollees in stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans as of November 2018. That’s about 61 percent of all Wyoming Medicare beneficiaries, which is higher than most states, but again, most Wyoming Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Original Medicare, and stand-alone Part D plans are designed to supplement Original Medicare (Most Medicare Advantage plans include built-in Part D coverage).

For 2019 coverage, Wyoming has 28 stand-alone Part D plans with premiums ranging from $15 to $94 per month.

For those under 65 in Wyoming

Are you under 65 years of age and shopping for individual health insurance instead of Medicare? We have information on Wyoming health insurance and the Wyoming health insurance marketplace at our health insurance site.