GILLETTE, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Health says that it will be restarting the annual renewal process for Wyoming Medicaid, a process that has been on hold for the past three years.
A joint federal–state insurance program, Medicaid pays for the medical and long-term care of low-income and medically needy individuals and families, the WDH says.
The annual Medicaid renewal process was paused early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, with the federal government stopping states from reviewing the eligibility of enrolled clients in exchange for temporarily increased federal funding, according to the WDH.
With recent changes to federal law ending the increased federal funding, states are now being allowed to return to their normal renewal plans, per the WDH.
“We just started sending renewal notices by mail to clients,” said Lee Grossman, state Medicaid agent and Division of Healthcare Financing senior administrator with the WDH. “We’ll be reviewing eligibility in the same manner as we did before the pandemic, so it’s not something new.”
Grossman said it’s important for clients to ensure their contact information is up to date so they don’t miss the renewal notice.
“Because of the pause, our clients have not received these notices by mail over the last three years,” Grossman said. “We know living situations may have changed during that time for many people.”
According to Grossman, the WDH does not want individuals currently covered through Medicaid to lose that coverage because they’ve failed to update their current address, and will be making the best efforts to reach people.
Not all clients will receive their renewal notices at the same time, the WDH says. A certain percentage of renewal notices will be mailed to current enrollees each month for the next year and 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.”
According to the WDH, clients commonly lose coverage for things like 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, the WDH says, adding that some children may be moved from the program to the WDH Kid Care CHIP Program, which has different income guidelines.
Having a low income does not automatically qualify people for Wyoming Medicaid, Grossman said. While most people on Medicaid are indeed low-income, people must also fall into certain categories based on age or health status.
The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.