CHEYENNE — Following reports of fake texts and bogus calls seeking money, Wyoming Medicaid is alerting residents about current Medicaid renewal scams that are targeting program clients. Wyoming Medicaid is part of the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).
“Some of our clients are receiving text messages claiming their Medicaid coverage was at risk for cancellation or they have actually already lost benefits. When clients call the listed number, they are threatened and asked for $500 to continue their benefits,” said Lee Grossman, state Medicaid agent and Division of Healthcare Financing senior administrator with WDH.
Wyoming Medicaid and the related Kid Care CHIP program never charge or ask for money from individuals to enroll or re-enroll. No one should share banking or credit card information with anyone that calls claiming to be from Wyoming Medicaid or the Wyoming Department of Health.
While WDH does send legitimate text messages to clients with important information regarding updating contact information, completing renewals and taking surveys, these do not discuss a specific person’s potential loss of coverage and do not seek money.
“If someone pushes for money so you can continue to be covered by Wyoming Medicaid, they are not a real representative of our program,” Grossman said. “Rather, they are likely to be a criminal.”
In earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government stopped states from reviewing Medicaid eligibility of enrolled clients in exchange for temporarily increased federal funding. A change in federal law is now allowing states to return to their normal renewal plans.
“We have started sending renewal notices to clients in the same manner as we did before the pandemic,” Grossman said. “One way to help avoid scam attempts is to make sure we have your current contact information so you do not miss the real and official renewal notice,” Grossman said.
Wyoming Medicaid enrollees can update their contact information online at www.wesystem.wyo.gov or by calling 1-855-294-2127.
A certain percentage of renewal notices are being sent to current enrollees each month for the next year. Not all clients will receive their renewal notices at the same time. “We’ll be renewing people who are still eligible for Wyoming Medicaid services while we also end coverage for those who are no longer eligible,” Grossman said.
Common reasons clients lose coverage include reaching adulthood so they are no longer eligible for coverage as a child, an increase in personal and family income, a health status change or moving to another state.
Medicaid is a joint federal-state insurance program that pays for the medical and long-term care of low-income and medically needy individuals and families. More information about Wyoming Medicaid can be found here.