The Cowboy State is famous for open lands and striking national parks, but residents also have plenty of health care options. According to a study by US News, Wyoming has the 33rd best health care in the nation when it comes to access, quality, and good public health.
Health insurance options in Wyoming
There are several health care options for WY residents:
- From your employer
- Through your spouse's employer
Individual or family plans
- Through HealthCare.gov
- Directly from a health insurance company
Where do most Wyoming residents get their health insurance coverage?
|Individual or family
|Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population
Eleven percent of WY residents are uninsured, more than the national average. That could be a setback for policyholders, as a high rate of uninsured people increases costs for insured people.
Wyoming health insurance companies
As America’s least populated state, Wyoming only has one provider in its marketplace. This company offers both individual and family plans:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Wyoming
Wyoming health insurance costs and rate factors
WY residents spend an average of $8,320 per year on health care, more than the national average. What determines your health insurance rates in Wyoming? Prices vary person to person, but depend primarily on these factors:
Marketplace plans come in metal tiers: bronze, silver, and gold. The more coverage you want, the more you’ll have to pay.
What should you expect to pay in your state? These are the average monthly premiums for each plan type for a middle-aged WY resident in 2020:
|Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Change in Average Marketplace Premiums by Metal Tier
You may notice that although gold plans offer more coverage, silver plans in WY cost about 20 percent more than gold plans. That’s because the government ended certain subsidies for insurance providers, scrambling costs in certain states. To make up for these changes, companies increased the prices of the plans, particularly in the silver tier. That means that WY residents have the option to buy more coverage at a lower price. Gold plans cover 80 percent of costs, whereas silver plans cover 70 percent. This could change in the coming years.
You may also qualify for a catastrophic plan, the lowest level of coverage available in the marketplace. Catastrophic plans have low monthly premiums but a yearly deductible of $8,150. That deductible means it may save you money to purchase a bronze or gold plan for when you need to use your insurance.
Body mass index
According to the CDC, a high body mass increases your chances of suffering from a serious health condition. That’s why insurance companies analyze your BMI. You’ll need to pay more for health insurance if you have a high BMI.
In 2019, WY had a 30 percent obesity rate, the 36th highest rate in the country. Of the many Wyoming shoppers who used QuoteWizard to compare health insurance plans, 30 percent have an obese BMI.
Smokers pay more for health insurance because of the serious risks from tobacco use. About 19 percent of WY residents are smokers, the 34th lowest rate in the country.
Health insurance plans cost up to three times more for older people than for younger people. Wyomingites who used QuoteWizard to shop for health insurance are, on average, 39 years old.
Where you live also plays a large role in your prices. That’s because there are different health insurance laws, regulations, and companies in every state.
Insurance companies use community-rating to determine your costs, so your rates are partly based on the total claims in your state. If your neighbor files a high number of claims, your costs could rise.
That means living in a health-conscious state could lower your prices. According to America’s Health Rankings, WY is the 26th healthiest state in the country.
Wyoming health insurance laws
The Affordable Care Act limits what providers can use as a cost factor when pricing your policy.
- Pre-existing conditions: People with pre-existing health conditions used to pay more for health care, if they could even get coverage to begin with. Thanks to the ACA, insurance companies can’t charge you more because of a pre-existing condition.
- Gender: According to a study by Health Services Research, women historically pay more for health care. However, the ACA doesn’t allow companies to charge women and men different prices for the same plan.
- Insurance and medical history: Insurance companies also used to analyze your medical history and your past insurance coverage. Now, people with previous medical conditions or lapses in insurance aren’t charged more for insurance.
There’s a cap to how much you'll pay out-of-pocket for a marketplace plan. In 2020, the out-of-pocket maximum is $8,150 for an individual plan and $16,300 for a family plan.
Wyoming state law requires health insurance companies to offer at least some coverage for the following services:
- Certain cancer screenings
- Inpatient hospital and medical care
- Ambulatory outpatient services
- Diagnostic laboratory services
- Diabetes equipment, supplies, and education
- Routine patient care costs for cancer patients
There are more health services that providers must cover. Find the full list on cms.gov.
Medicare and Medicaid in Wyoming
Medicare and Medicaid are both government-funded programs that offer coverage to two different groups of people. Medicare covers seniors, and Medicaid provides health coverage to low-income families and children.
Medicare aids seniors 65 and older. There are several coverage options within the program, including parts A, B, C, D, and supplemental coverage plans. WY residents may also qualify for a Medicare Savings Program:
- Individual monthly income limit: $1,456
- Married couple monthly income limit: $1,960
Medicaid helps low-income families and children afford health care. These are the state’s Medicaid financial requirements:
|Maximum Yearly Income
Wyoming Department of Insurance
- Insurance Commissioner:
- Tom Glause
- Insurance Hotline:
- (800) 438 -- 5768
- Office Hours:
- Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 6:00 pm
- File a Consumer Insurance Complaint
- Complaint Page
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