CHEYENNE — After a pandemic-related pause of roughly three years, Wyoming Medicaid, which is part of the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), is restarting its annual renewal process for program clients.
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. In the early stages of the 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 and ending the increased federal funding.
“We just started sending renewal notices by mail to clients. We’ll be reviewing eligibility in the same manner as we did before the pandemic so it’s not something new,” said Lee Grossman, state Medicaid agent and Division of Healthcare Financing senior administrator with WDH.
“It’s important for clients to make sure we have their current contact information so they do not miss the renewal notice” Grossman said. “Because of the pause, our clients have not received these notices by mail over the last three years. We know living situations may have changed during that time for many people.”
Wyoming Medicaid enrollees can update their contact information online at www.wesystem.wyo.gov or by calling 1-855-294-2127.
“We do not want covered individuals to lose coverage because we don’t have their current address and will be making the best efforts we can to reach people,” Grossman said.
A certain percentage of renewal notices will be mailed to current enrollees each month for the next year. Not all clients will receive their renewal notices at the same time. The effort will continue on a standard, ongoing basis in future years.
“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. “This effort is something we’ve been expecting and planning to accomplish for quite some time and helps ensure state and federal resources are used appropriately.”
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.
It’s expected many people found to be ineligible for continued Medicaid coverage will qualify for highly subsidized insurance coverage through the federal exchange. Some children may also be moved from Wyoming Medicaid to the WDH Kid Care CHIP program, which has different income guidelines.
Grossman noted having a low income does not automatically qualify people for Wyoming Medicaid. While most people on Medicaid are indeed low-income, people must also fall into certain categories based on age or health status.
More information about Wyoming Medicaid can be found online.