Nursing Homes in Wyoming
Wyoming is an appealing retirement destination thanks to its senior-friendly tax policies, low crime rates and affordable cost of living that’s just below the national average. The state’s 98,967 senior citizens have access to skilled care from home and community-based service providers as well as institutional health care facilities. Wyoming has 33 regional medical centers and 37 licensed nursing facilities.
Nursing homes provide 24-hour medical care to 2,224 residents who are aged, disabled or recovering from an injury or illness. These facilities are suitable for residents who don’t need to be in a hospital but require skilled care beyond what an assisted living facility or home health aide can provide. According to data from Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, nursing homes in Wyoming typically charge $8,258 for a semiprivate room and $8,714 for a private room, which is slightly higher than the national average.
Start planning for the future by reviewing this guide. It features a comparison of long-term care costs and helpful information about financial assistance programs, state regulations and nonprofit resources.
The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Wyoming
Nursing homes in Wyoming charge $8,258 per month, on average, according to research from Genworth Financial. Rates are slightly higher than the U.S. median of $7,756 and typical of most states in the region. Seniors in Utah save $1,870 per month on long-term care where rates are well below the national average. Nebraska and South Dakota are more affordable by a margin of $1,064-$1,247. Median nursing home prices are just below the national average in Montana at $7,665, which provides a monthly savings of $593. Conversely, seniors in Colorado and Idaho pay $259 and $411 more per month for nursing home care than their counterparts in Wyoming.
The United States
The average cost of nursing home care in Wyoming’s largest cities is slightly higher than the state median. However, data is limited since there are only two metropolitan areas and seven micropolitan areas. At $8,971, Laramie is the most expensive option, with rates that are similar to Fort Collins, Colorado. Cheyenne and Casper are slightly more affordable, with average costs of $8,547 and $8,456, respectively. However, rates in these communities are still $198 to $289 higher than the state median. Seniors may also look for out-of-state care. Nursing home prices are on par with the U.S. median of $7,756 in Billings, Montana. Nursing homes in Rock Springs, not far from Utah, are comparatively affordable with a median price of $5,627.
Nursing home care, which costs $8,258, is just one option for seniors to consider. Older adults who want to remain in their own home may benefit from homemaker services that cost $5,362 per month, on average. With medical support, these services cost $5,552 per month. Assisted living facilities provide apartment-style accommodations and one-on-one personal care at an average cost of $4,175. Adult day health care programs offer recreational activities in a group setting at a comparatively affordable rate of $3,250, which is almost double the national average.
Home Health Care
Adult Day Care
Assisted Living Facility
Nursing Home Care
Does Medicaid Cover Nursing Home Care in Wyoming?
In Wyoming, Medicaid covers nursing home care, which may include room and board, daily nursing, medications, therapy and other services to address a resident’s physical, psychological and social needs. At the end of fiscal year 2020, the Wyoming Department of Health reported that 75,360 people had enrolled in Medicaid at some point. The state’s Medicaid enrollment averaged 55,874 members per month during the same year.
Wyoming has the smallest population of any state, so it has just 36 certified nursing facilities. For people who want to remain in their homes even though they require a nursing home level of care, Wyoming Medicaid offers the Community Choices Waiver program, which aims to protect the welfare of Medicaid members while reducing the cost of needed services.
Medicaid Eligibility in Wyoming
When determining eligibility for Medicaid, the Wyoming Department of Health reviews each applicant’s income and assets. Single applicants have an annual income limit of $30,276 and an asset limit of $2,000. For two-person households, the limit depends on how many people are applying for coverage.
If only one person needs Medicaid nursing home coverage, the income limit is $30,276 per year for the applicant. While the applicant is limited to $2,000 worth of assets, the non-applicant spouse is allowed to have up to $137,400 worth of assets. The higher asset limit for non-applicants is the result of the Spousal Impoverishment Act, which was passed to prevent one spouse from moving into a nursing home and leaving the other spouse living alone with a lack of financial resources. If both spouses need Medicaid coverage, the asset limit increases to $3,000, but the income limit remains at $30,276 per person ($60,552 total).
A public health nurse must also complete a needs assessment to confirm that an applicant requires a nursing home level of care.
(Only One Person Applying)
$30,276 for applicant
$2,000 for applicant
$137,400 for non-applicant
(Both People Applying)
$60,552 ($30,276 per person)
Applicants must also meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Wyoming resident
- U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who has lived in the United States for a minimum of five years
- Verified as eligible for SSI or hospitalized for 30 days
- Blind, disabled or 65+
How to Apply for Medicaid in Wyoming
To apply online, visit the Wyoming Healthcare Financing website and click the Apply Now button to access the Medicaid/CHIP Web Portal. Each applicant must provide their full name, contact information and Social Security number to create an account. After opening an account, the applicant should fill out the online form and submit it to the Wyoming Department of Health for processing.
To apply by telephone, call (855) 294-2127. Wyoming residents with hearing loss should dial (855) 329-5204 for TTY/TDD service. For applicants who prefer to fill out paper forms, the Wyoming Department of Health offers English and Spanish versions of the Medicaid application. Download the appropriate form, complete it and mail it to the following address:
WDH-Customer Service Center
3001 E. Pershing Boulevard, Suite 125
Cheyenne, WY 82001
Applicants can also fax their completed forms to (855) 329-5205 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information You Will Need
Before starting the process, each applicant should gather documents to help verify their identity, income and assets. It’s important to gather as much documentation as possible to avoid processing delays. These are just a few of the documents that may be used to support the information provided in a Medicaid application:
- Driver’s license, state ID card or passport
- Naturalization/citizenship certificate
- Alien registration card
- Birth certificate
- Checking and savings account statements
- Pay stubs, if applicable
- Statements from IRAs, 401(k) plans and other types of retirement accounts
- Documents related to the ownership of a vehicle, such as auto insurance policies, registration cards and titles
- Military discharge papers, if applicable
- Deeds to residential and commercial properties
- Life insurance policies
- Contracts for prepaid services (e.g. prepaid funeral expenses)
- Copies of legal documents, including advance directives, wills, trusts and powers of attorney
Additional Medicaid Support & Resources in Wyoming
The Medicaid application process is complex, but resources are available to help Wyoming residents complete their applications and avoid delays caused by missing documentation. The table below lists some of these resources.
The Wyoming Department of Health has trained counselors available to help residents fill out their Medicaid applications and determine how to meet the agency's income, asset and identity verification requirements.
Maintained by the federal government, Benefits.gov gives consumers access to information on a wide range of assistance programs, including Medicaid and Medicare. The site provides an overview of each program and explains how to contact program representatives directly.
The Community Living Section of the state's Aging Division provides information, assistance and other support services to older adults (60+) living in Wyoming.
Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care in Wyoming?
Medicare provides limited coverage for short-term stays in a skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay, but seniors must meet a number of specific requirements. This benefit is available to beneficiaries who have been hospitalized for at least three days, excluding the date of discharge, so it’s most valuable for those who are recovering from an injury, illness or surgery.
Once seniors meet the hospitalization requirement, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of skilled nursing per benefit period. The first 20 days are covered in full. Starting on day 21, beneficiaries must pay a daily coinsurance rate. After day 100, seniors are responsible for the entire cost.
What Does Medicare Cover?
Medicare covers a number of specific services, including:
- A semiprivate room
- Skilled nursing
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Audiologist care
- Medical supplies
- Medical social services
- Nutritional counseling
- Ambulance transportation
What Isn’t Covered by Medicare?
Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care that addresses seniors’ day-to-day needs. This includes help with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing and using medical equipment.
For more information about Medicare and when it covers Nursing Home Care, read our Guide to Nursing Homes.
Medicare Support and Resources in Wyoming
Although Medicare covers many services, it doesn’t pay for everything a beneficiary might need. For covered services, there may also be additional out-of-pocket costs, such as copays and coinsurance. Because health care is so important for older adults, it’s helpful to talk to volunteers or paid counselors about the complexities of Medicare. The organizations below provide information and advice to help older adults and their loved ones make good decisions.
The Wyoming Center on Aging offers a variety of services to help older adults and their caregivers maintain the highest possible quality of life. Wyoming residents have access to educational materials on long-term care, legal issues for older adults, emergency preparedness and other topics of interest. WYC also operates the Wyoming Aging and Disability Resource Center, which links older adults with the information and services they need to maintain their health and independence.
Wyoming Senior Citizens is a nonprofit agency dedicated to meeting the needs of older adults living in Wyoming. The organization operates the Senior Medicare Patrol program, which offers counseling and education to help seniors and their caregivers prevent and detect Medicare-related fraud.
Operated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare.gov offers helpful information to help Medicare-eligible adults understand their coverage options. The site also provides an overview of Medicare costs to help older adults and their loved ones make long-term financial plans.
Other Financial Assistance Options for Nursing Home Care in Wyoming
While Medicaid and Medicare are two of the most common programs used to pay for Nursing Home Care, there are other financial assistance options available, depending on your unique situation.
Aid and Attendance
Learn more and apply online at va.gov.
Veterans who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for skilled nursing care.
Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov
If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for nursing care. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.
Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance
Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at acl.gov.
Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for skilled nursing care. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of skilled nursing care will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.
Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Wyoming
In Wyoming, older adults and their loved ones have many options, making the process of applying for coverage or deciding whether to move into a nursing home even more complex. Fortunately, the state has several organizations dedicated to connecting consumers with the information they need to make good decisions regarding their care.
Legal Aid of Wyoming has experienced attorneys available to help older adults with a wide range of civil issues, including estate planning, health care and housing. The organization receives federal funding, so its services are free to low-income residents of the state. LAW also offers free workshops on some of the most common legal challenges faced by Wyoming residents.
The Wyoming Department of Health Aging Division operates several programs designed to help seniors improve their quality of life. To ensure residents of long-term care facilities receive high-quality care, the agency is responsible for issuing licenses to nursing homes throughout Wyoming. It also conducts inspections to ensure each facility meets state standards. The Community Facilities section of the agency operates three senior living communities: Veterans' Home of Wyoming, Wyoming Retirement Center and Wyoming Pioneer Home.
The Wyoming Aging and Disability Resource Center exists to support older adults and younger residents with physical and intellectual disabilities. Its website has a search tool to help consumers find information on a variety of topics, from dementia and dental health to insurance and transportation. Wyoming residents can also request referrals to other agencies.
COVID-19 Rules for Independent Living in Wyoming
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including health.wyo.gov. These rules apply to Independent Living Communities and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/15/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.
Are loved ones allowed to visit to provide emotional support?
Are relatives allowed to visit for end-of-life care?
Are residents required to quarantine after visiting with a loved one?
Are visitors required to wear PPE (including masks) in order to visit residents?
Are non-medical contractors (such as hairdressers and entertainers) allowed in senior living facilities?
Are visitors checked for elevated temperatures?
Are visitors required to answer questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?
Outings & Social Activities
Are residents allowed to leave (errands, visiting family, etc.) for non-medical reasons?
Are residents who leave required to quarantine when they return?
Are senior living communities required to cancel all group outings?
Are residents allowed to eat meals together in a common area?
Are residents allowed to gather in common areas for group activites?
COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents
Are staff members regularly required to do a temperature check?
Are staff members regularly tested for COVID-19?
Are staff members members regularly required to do a health and safety screening, including questions about travel, contact with positive cases, etc?
Are residents regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms?
Are residents regularly checked for elevated temperatures?
Are residents regularly tested for COVID-19?