The Wyoming Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as Kid Care CHIP, will see some changes this year as the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) takes over administration of the program’s direct benefits and claims processing, leading to reduced costs to the state.
For years, the WDH had been contracting with a private insurance company to administer the program, but no private insurance or managed care companies responded to a recent request for program proposals, per a July 7 release from the department. The contract for the existing vendor expires on Sept. 30.
“We are going to incorporate Kid Care CHIP into the processes and procedures we already have in place to manage Wyoming Medicaid,” said Teri Green, division of healthcare financing senior administrator with WDH, adding that the change takes place Oct. 1 and will lead to an expected savings of $1.8 million in state general funds each year.
The result? Some program changes are to be expected. For example, to help make the Kid Care CHIP program more consistent with Wyoming Medicaid, Green said WDH is planning for lower copays and increased service coverages for Kid Care CHIP recipients.
Because Wyoming Medicaid is widely accepted among Wyoming healthcare providers, it’s likely very few individuals will need to change providers, Green added, and existing CHIP recipients will not need to take any action to maintain coverage, and there will be no change to the enrollment process, per WDH.
Nearly 3,300 children are currently enrolled in the statewide program, which is supported by a combination of state and federal funds.
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