Insurance

Best Ways To Get Affordable Health Insurance in Wyoming

Wyoming uses the federal healthcare.gov website ( healthcare.gov ) for enrollment. During open enrollment for 2022 coverage, 34,762 residents enrolled in private individual-market plans through the Wyoming exchange.

Premiums (what you pay each month for coverage) are rising in Wyoming, experts indicate that the reasons lie in the variety of measures that the Trump administration has been implementing to undermine the success, and the operational capacity, of the insurance markets established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Among them, is the decision of the federal government to stop granting insurers funds for cost-sharing reduction (CSR). This money allowed insurers to cover the medical costs of lower-income consumers, so they didn’t have to spend a lot of money out of pocket.

Read also:

Insurers raised premiums to offset the loss of this federal money. However, as premiums increase, so do the subsidies that most consumers receive to pay for them.

Therefore, the main people affected will be those who have a market health plan but do not receive subsidies.

The cost of medical insurance in West Virginia varies depending on several factors, including the amount of coverage, age, and deductible amount. Other federal government measures that may impact the Wyoming insurance market include:

The decision to repeal the individual mandate (the requirement for most people to have health insurance, at the risk of paying a fine), started in 2019.

The decision to stop funding community assistance programs that help people enroll in health plans. This executive measure dramatically affects the work of navigators, experts in navigating the insurance market, and generally bilingual and multicultural people, who have been helping consumers for years to choose or change their health plans. Thousands of Latinos have chosen to use this resource, in-person care, to shop for health plans.

The federal boost to short-term plans and the association of health plans, which are cheaper, but do not cover essential benefits such as maternal and child care, reproductive health, hospitalizations, and mental health services. Experts say this will cause the exodus of healthy people from ACA plans, something that will destabilize the market.

And, in addition, the general uncertainty related to possible legislative changes in the ACA.

Open Enrollment Period and Insurers

The open enrollment period will be from November 1 to January 15, 2021. During this time, two insurers will offer plans: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming and Mountain Health CO-OP.

Penalty for not having insurance. The penalty imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA, popularly known as Obamacare) for most people remains in effect until the end of 2018. It was repealed as of 2019.

Medicaid in Wyoming

Wyoming did not expand Medicaid under the ACA. Some 64,000 people are beneficiaries of the program in the state.

It is estimated that some 34,000 people would have benefited from this coverage if the program had been expanded.

Medicaid and work requirement

The state is making efforts to add this requirement to Medicaid eligibility.

On February 11, 2018, the Trump administration initiated a fundamental change in the Medicaid program, announcing that for the first time the federal government would allow states to establish work requirements as a condition of access to this coverage.

The Trump administration, and many conservatives, view Medicaid as a welfare program that should provide only temporary help and prepare enrollees for employment and the ability to negotiate private health insurance.

Democrats, advocates for the needy, and most legal experts see Medicaid as a health program designed to help the nation’s poorest citizens access health coverage.

They say the administration’s approach of requiring its beneficiaries to work to get health coverage is absurd because enrollees need health coverage to be healthy enough to work.

This debate is still open. The health of the undocumented in Wyoming

Some 5,000 undocumented immigrants live in Wyoming, making up 27% of the immigrant population and 1% of the total population. Wyoming does not have a health care support network for this population.

The undocumented themselves and families with mixed-status face more barriers to access to health. And they represent a significant portion of the state’s health care gap.

Without access to Medicaid, CHIP, or the marketplace, the option for coverage is limited to hard-to-afford private plans or going to certain community health centers, which provide free or low-cost care, based on an admission, or to some hospitals. Care varies depending on where the person lives.

The scenario is complicated if the patient needs surgery or complex treatments and, therefore, more expensive.

In Wyoming, you can purchase private health insurance through the state’s insurance exchange if you cannot get it through the state’s government programs, like Medicaid and Medicare, or through your employer.

Which Medical Insurance carriers offer 2022 coverage in the Wyoming marketplace?

Just two insurance companies offer individual/family plans in Wyoming’s marketplace, and both have statewide coverage areas:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming
  • Mountain Health CO-OP (Montana Health CO-OP)

How Much Does Health Insurance Cost in Wyoming?

Wyoming tops the chart for the highest average monthly health insurance premiums in America, but residents can often find affordable health insurance plans on the state health insurance exchange.

Full-price premiums in Wyoming decreased fairly significantly for 2021, and decreased again for 2022, although they’re still among the highest in the nation. But very few people pay full price.

 For the 2022 plan year, the average monthly health insurance premium is $618 for a 40-year-old in Wyoming, or 5% cheaper than in 2021.

And for the reason that full-price premiums are high in Wyoming, premium subsidies are also very large. Age and metal tier are two important factors that impact the monthly health insurance premium you pay for your health insurance policy.

As the policyholder’s age increases, the average cost of health care coverage across all metal tiers will increase. In Wyoming, this means a premium for a 40-year-old will be 28% more expensive than for a 21-year-old. That same 40-year-old would pay 53% lower rates for a policy than a 60-year-old.

Average rates in Wyoming decreased a bit in 2019, grew a bit in 2020, and decreased significantly in 2021. So with the decrease in 2022, rates have slashed in Wyoming’s marketplace in three of the past four years.

Wyoming’s premiums on average were the highest in the country by a mile in 2019, although they dropped to second-highest as of 2020 (and appear likely to keep that position in 2022).

Leave a Reply