Medicare in Wyoming

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Medicare in WyomingMedicare is the federal government program that offers health insurance to people age 65 and older and those who have certain medical conditions. About 20% of Wyoming’s population is currently enrolled in Medicare. If you are nearing your 65th birthday, it’s time to start looking at your Medicare options!

Today, we’ll review your coverage choices with Traditional Medicare, prescription drug plans, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement plans.

Traditional Medicare

Everyone who wishes to enroll in Medicare starts with “Traditional” or “Original” Medicare, which consists of Part A and Part B. You must be enrolled in both of these before pursuing either a Medicare Advantage plan or a Part D prescription drug plan.

Medicare Part A

Part A is your hospital or inpatient insurance. It will help pay for room and board expenses when you are admitted to either a skilled nursing facility or hospital. Most Medicare beneficiaries do not pay a premium for Part A. As long as you or your spouse has paid FICA taxes for 40 quarters (10 years), you’ll enjoy premium-free Part A.

Medicare Part B

Part B is your medical or outpatient insurance. It helps pay for things like doctor’s office visits, surgeries, durable medical equipment, diagnostic tests, and preventive medicine. Unlike Part A, you will pay a premium for Part B. The standard monthly premium is currently $170.10. Individuals with high incomes may be required to pay IRMAA, an Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. Those with low incomes could qualify for state assistance to pay some or all of the Part B premium.

Prescription Drug Plans

Prescription drug plans are (PDPs) Part D of Medicare. (Think “D” for drugs.) PDPs are sold by private insurance carriers, who are regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. You can enroll in any Part D plan that is offered within your zip code. To choose, you’ll compare your current list of prescriptions to those covered by the plan.

Wyoming Couple review Medicare Coverage
Prescription drug plans are (PDPs) Part D of Medicare.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage, also called Medicare Part C, is one way you can increase your Medicare benefits. Like the drug plans, Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private companies who have been approved to sell the plans. There is a lot to know about the plans, but we’ll give you the basics here.

First, understand that if you enroll in a Part C plan, you will no longer get your benefits from the federal Medicare program. Instead, the private insurance company will provide all your benefits from Parts A and B (except hospice). They will also include extra benefits you won’t find in Traditional Medicare and may even include Part D drug coverage. Every plan is different, so you’ll need to take the time to review its benefits before making your selection.

Second, there are several kinds of Medicare Advantage plans. Every person in Wyoming has access to at least one of these plans, though some have more options than others. The five kinds of Medicare Advantage plans include:

  1. Health Maintenance Organizations
  2. Preferred Provider Organizations
  3. Private Fee-for-Service Plans
  4. Special Needs Plans
  5. Medicare Savings Accounts

Each type of Medicare Advantage plan has its own set of rules and regulations regarding who you receive care from. So again, be sure to understand how the plan works before enrolling.

Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement plans are the second way individuals can increase their Traditional Medicare benefits. While they do offer great benefits, Parts A and B also leave beneficiaries with many out-of-pocket costs. Plus, there is no maximum out-of-pocket on Traditional Medicare, unlike most group or individual health insurance plans. Medicare Supplements fill in the gaps in Parts A and B, which is why they’re also referred to as “Medigap” plans.

You’ll have several options for a Medicare Supplement plan in Wyoming, but the most popular plans are Plans F, G, and N. They’re offered by a number of insurance carriers, but the benefits are the same regardless. Medigap plans have fewer rules than Medicare Advantage plans do but also come with a higher premium.

If you’d like to learn more about your options for Medicare in Wyoming, speak with one of our licensed advisors. We will help you make sense of Medicare and review which plans are available in your area. There is absolutely no cost to work with us, so call to schedule your consultation today!

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Justin Brock

President & CEO of Bobby Brock Insurance