Original Medicare is the government-sponsored health insurance program. For Medicare beneficiaries in Wyoming, as for those living in other states, Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) benefits include medical insurance and hospital insurance. In Wyoming, as in the other states, Medicare beneficiaries may have other Medicare coverage options as well; keep reading to learn more.
Original Medicare for Wyoming beneficiaries
Original Medicare includes Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance), and it’s available to United States citizens and permanent legal residents of at least 5 years, aged 65 and over. You might qualify for Medicare before age 65 due to certain disabilities and illnesses.
Many people in Wyoming, as in the other states, are automatically enrolled in Medicare as soon as they become eligible. If you’re not automatically enrolled, you can sign up for Original Medicare during the seven-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which typically begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65 and ends three months after that month. If you receive government disability benefits, your IEP is usually the seven-month period that starts your 22nd month of receiving disability benefits and continues through the 28th month.
If you have questions about your Medicare eligibility, when to enroll, or other questions, you can contact the Social Security Agency (SSA):
- On the agency’s website
- By calling 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778. SSA representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM.
- By visiting your local Social Security office.
If you worked for a railroad, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772. TTY users can call 1-312-751-4701. RRB representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 3:30PM.
If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, you can still sign up for Medicare during the General Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31 each year, but you might have to pay a late-enrollment penalty, which translates into higher monthly premiums.
Medicare beneficiaries in Wyoming (as in the rest of the country) generally don’t pay a premium for their Medicare Part A coverage, unless they haven’t worked at least 10 years (40 quarters) while paying Medicare taxes. Medicare beneficiaries generally receive the following hospital insurance coverage under Medicare Part A:
- Hospital care
- Skilled nursing facility care
- Nursing home care (non-custodial)
- Hospice care
- Limited home health services
Medicare beneficiaries generally receive the following medical insurance coverage under Medicare Part B (this is not a complete list):
- Clinical research
- Doctor visits
- Ambulance services
- Durable medical equipment
- Mental health (inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization)
- Getting a second opinion before surgery
- Limited outpatient prescription drugs
Certain restrictions may apply; for example, you generally must receive services from providers who accept Medicare assignment.
Medicare plan options in Wyoming
As a Medicare beneficiary in Wyoming, you might have several options related to your Medicare coverage; these are briefly described below.
In general, you can stay with Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, as described above, and optionally add on to this coverage. Or, you may be able to choose to get your Original Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan.
If you stay with Original Medicare
Although Medicare Part A and Part B may cover a wide range of medical services, they don’t include prescription drug coverage except in limited situations (for example, when medications are administered to you in a hospital or outpatient office setting). Also, Original Medicare may require you to pay out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
A stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan can work alongside your Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) benefits. If you decide on this option, instead of getting your Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan (described below), you may also be able to sign up for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan to help pay for Original Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs. Different Medigap plans pay for different amounts of those costs, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
Medicare Supplement plans sold today don’t cover prescription drugs, and you can’t use them with Medicare Advantage plans.
If you want an alternative way to get your Original Medicare benefits
In Wyoming, as in other states, you may be able to receive your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits (except for hospice care, which Part A covers) through a private, Medicare-approved insurance company. This option may be available under the Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) program. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits, like routine dental, vision, and hearing services.
In Wyoming, as in most states, you may be able to combine health and prescription drug coverage through a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. But remember that no matter which Medicare Advantage plan you choose, you have to stay enrolled in Original Medicare and continue paying your Medicare Part B premium to maintain your health insurance coverage and avoid getting disenrolled from Medicare. Find out about Medicare Advantage plans in Wyoming.
As a Medicare beneficiary in Wyoming, you have may access to a number of Medicare plan options. If you live in Cheyenne, in Laramie County, for example, you might have different Medicare plan offerings than a resident of Casper in Natrona County. To find out what plans are available in your part of Wyoming, just enter your zip code in the box on this page. Please note that plan costs and availability may vary.
Wyoming resources for Medicare beneficiaries
There are a number of resources designed to help Medicare beneficiaries in Wyoming with Medicare-related issues and concerns. Here are some from Medicare.gov that may be helpful to you:
- American Cancer Society
- State Department of Insurance
- State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
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