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‘Waiver’ programs part of Wyoming Medicaid renewals

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CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Medicaid participants, family members, providers and case managers are being reminded by the Wyoming Department of Health that the state’s “waiver” programs are part of Wyoming Medicaid and are subject to the annual renewal process, according to a Wyoming Department of Health press release.

Medicaid, a joint federal–state insurance program, provides coverage for the medical and long-term care of low-income and medically needy individuals and families.

Wyoming Medicaid offers three waiver programs:

  • Community Choices Waiver for individuals aged 65 and older or those aged 19–64 with a qualifying disability.
  • Supports Waiver for individuals of all ages with an intellectual or developmental disability or acquired brain injury.
  • Comprehensive Waiver for individuals of all ages with an intellectual or developmental disability or acquired brain injury who meet emergency and eligibility criteria.

Elizabeth Forslund, the administrator of the Home and Community-Based Services Section with the WDH, expressed concern that participants may not realize they are part of the Medicaid program due to the distinct nature of the waiver programs compared to traditional Medicaid.

With the renewal process underway in Wyoming, it is important for waiver program participants to understand that they are subject to the renewal requirements to maintain their Medicaid coverage.

Forslund emphasized the importance of completing the necessary forms on time to avoid losing coverage.

Due to the temporary suspension of Medicaid eligibility reviews during the pandemic, the federal government now requires states to resume the renewal process after a pause of approximately three years. Some waiver participants have already received renewal packets but have not returned the required forms and information, putting their Medicaid coverage and waiver services at risk.

Forslund highlighted the role of family members, providers and case managers in assisting vulnerable waiver participants who may struggle to manage the renewal process independently.

Renewal notices may be sent out at different times to clients, and it is crucial for participants to ensure that Wyoming Medicaid has their current contact information to receive the renewal notice. Participants can update their contact information or complete the renewal process online at www.wesystem.wyo.gov or by calling 1-855-294-2127.

It is important to note that having a low income does not automatically qualify individuals for Wyoming Medicaid, as eligibility is also based on specific age or health status categories.

Waiver programs are designed for eligible participants who prefer to receive long-term care services and support in their home or community rather than in an institutional setting. Additional information about Wyoming’s waiver programs can be found on the Wyoming Department of Health’s website at https://health.wyo.gov/healthcarefin/hcbs/.

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