Medicare in Wyoming
- Find out about Medicare in Wyoming, including who is eligible and whether you're automatically covered or need to apply for benefits.
What Wyoming Medicare Plans Are Available?
People eligible for Medicare in Wyoming have several options available. Medicare Parts A and B, sometimes called Original Medicare, are provided through the Social Security Administration. Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) and Medicare Parts C and D are government-authorized supplemental plans sold by private insurance companies.
There are 112,742 Medicare beneficiaries in Wyoming. The majority of those, 109,216 people, are covered by Original Medicare, and 3,526 Wyoming residents have Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Part A
A Medicare Part A plan provides coverage for hospitalization as long as a hospital or facility accepts Medicare. Part A helps pay for many services, including:
- Inpatient hospital care
- Short-term nursing facility care
- Home health care
- Inpatient rehabilitation
- Inpatient psychiatric care
In addition to medical care, Part A helps pay for meals, nursing, shared and semi-private rooms and medicine administered as part of a hospital stay.
Medicare Part B
The second part of Original Medicare is known as Medicare Part B, and it covers routine medical care and outpatient services. Part B coverage usually includes:
- Preventative care, like checkups
- Outpatient visits for illness or injury
- Diagnostic care and lab work
- Medical supplies and equipment
- Medically necessary emergency and non-emergency transportation
- Vaccines and IV drugs administered in a clinical setting
Part B only covers services from providers who have agreed to accept Medicare.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Part C plans are also known as Medicare Advantage Plans. These plans resemble traditional private insurance plans and replace a beneficiary's Original Medicare. Beneficiaries can purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan from a private insurance company that will then bill Medicare for the cost of the beneficiary's care.
Beneficiaries incur some extra expenses for these plans, including premiums, deductibles and copays. However, Medicare Advantage can be easier to use and offer more coverage than Original Medicare. For example, many Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for dental care, vision care and prescription drugs.
Part D Prescription Drug Coverage and Medigap
Beneficiaries can also purchase Part D prescription drug coverage to help pay for prescription drugs from retail pharmacies.
Medigap plans, or Medicare Supplement Insurance, supplement Medicare by covering things like coinsurance and deductibles. By covering some of these gaps in Medicare coverage, Medigap plans can help enrollees manage and predict their medical bills.
Who Is Eligible for Wyoming Medicare?
Most Medicare beneficiaries are people age 65 or older, although some younger people with disabilities may qualify. If you start receiving Social Security benefits at least four months before your 65th birthday, you'll probably be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. If automatically enrolled, you'll get a Medicare card in the mail before your birthday. Regardless of whether you're automatically enrolled, understanding enrollment periods can help you manage your benefits.
The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is the time when you're first eligible to enroll in Medicare. You can use this time to sign up for Parts A and B if you weren't automatically enrolled, and you can purchase a Medicare Advantage plan or supplemental insurance. Your IEP ends three months after the month of your 65th birthday.
There is a Medicare General Enrollment Period each year from January 1st to March 31st. You can sign up for Medicare Parts A and B during this time, but there are sometimes penalties for signing up after your IEP.
Medicare's fall Open Enrollment Period runs from October 15th to December 7th each year. This period is also known as the annual enrollment period (AEP). During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their plans, including joining or dropping a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Finally, special enrollment periods may be available to people facing significant life changes. If you were recently covered by an employer's health plan, you might be able to sign up for Medicare without a penalty even after your IEP. Special enrollment periods also allow people moving outside of their current plan's service area to change plans.
How Do I Enroll in Medicare in Wyoming?
If you need to sign up for Medicare Part A or B, you can do so during an enrollment period by applying to the Social Security Administration. You can:
- Apply online at the Social Security website
- Visit a local Social Security office
- Call 1-800-772-1213
Contact Information for Wyoming Medicare, Medicaid and Insurance Help
HelpAdvisor offers valuable information about Medicare and Medicaid in Wyoming. You can also contact Wyoming's State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at 1-800-4398.
U.S. News Health provides additional information about Wyoming Medicare plans. And Wyoming Health Insurance Consumer Help provides information about organizations that can help people get the most from their Medicare benefits.