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.

$8258

Wyoming

$7756

The United States

$7665

Montana

$8669

Idaho

$6388

Utah

$8517

Colorado

$7194

Nebraska

$7011

South Dakota

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.

$8456

Casper

$8547

Cheyenne

$8971

Laramie

$5627

Rock Springs

$7756

Billings, MT

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.

$5362

In-Home Care

$5552

Home Health Care

$3250

Adult Day Care

$4175

Assisted Living Facility

$8258

Nursing Home Care

Financial Assistance for Nursing Home Care in Wyoming

Most people do not pay for skilled nursing care entirely out-of-pocket. Rather, they utilize financial assistance programs to help cover the cost of nursing care. Of public financial assistance programs, Medicaid provides the most comprehensive coverage of nursing home care. But not all seniors are eligible for Medicaid. And because each state operates its own Medicaid program within federal guidelines, eligibility and benefits vary from state to state. Below, we provide more information on Medicaid in Wyoming.

Wyoming’s Medicaid Program

Wyoming Medicaid is an all-inclusive health insurance program available to adults and children who have significant medical or financial needs. It currently insures 62,643 individuals or about 13% of the population. Since 2013, enrollment has decreased by 7.2% due to the state’s decision to adopt targeted enrollment strategies recommended by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicaid provides primary and emergency medical care, including medications, diagnostic services and labs. It also covers the cost of long-term care and skilled nursing facilities when these services are medical necessary.

Medicaid covers 62.5% of Wyoming’s 2,224 nursing home residents, and about half of health care spending goes toward long-term care. Wyoming covers skilled care provided in the state’s 37 nursing homes, and its Community Choices Section 1915(c) waiver covers similar services that are delivered by home health agencies or similarly qualified providers in a residential setting. This is one of three Home and Community-Based Services waivers available statewide.

Medicaid Eligibility in Wyoming

Medicaid long-term care benefits are available to state residents who earn no more than $2,382 per month or 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate. Assets, including a primary home, vehicle and personal belongings, are capped at $2,000 for individuals or $3,000 if both spouses are applying jointly. Additionally, Wyoming requires Medicaid beneficiaries to use all of their available income for long-term care, excluding a $50 personal allowance and funds needed to care for a spouse. Individuals who live in Wyoming and are a U.S. citizen or legal resident can apply for benefits on the Medicaid/CHIP Web Portal or by calling (855) 294-2127.

Alternative Financial Assistance Options

  • Medicare: Medicare will cover the cost of one’s care in a skilled nursing facility for the first 20 days of their stay, and a portion of the costs up until day 100. After 100 days, the individual is responsible for all costs. Seniors must also have a “qualifying hospital stay” of at least 3 days prior to their admission to a nursing home in order to qualify for Medicare coverage.
  • Aid and Attendance: 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.
  • Reverse Mortgages: 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. This type of funding can be especially useful for married couples when only one partner needs nursing care, as the other residents of the home may continue living there. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be covered for skilled nursing care. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost of nursing home care, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of skilled nursing care will not be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.

Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Wyoming

Wyoming provides a variety of resources for seniors and families who need help accessing nursing home care or community-based alternatives. The following organizations can help you learn more about your options.

ResourceContactService
Wyoming Department of Health, Aging Division(307) 777-7995The Aging Division is committed to ensuring that seniors and families have access to the services they need to maintain their health and independence. It operates three long-term care facilities, including a veterans home, and it’s in charge of the Community Living section, which connects residents to in-home care and programs funded by the Older Americans Act, such as meal deliveries, healthy aging courses and caregiver supports.
Wyoming State Health Insurance Information Program (WSHIIP)(800) 856-4398Anyone who is eligible for Medicare or is looking for information about long-term care insurance can contact the WSHIIP for assistance. Counseling services are available through Wyoming Senior Citizens Inc. and the statewide hotline. Counselors help with billing questions and concerns, Medigap supplements and a variety of issues related to Medicare.
Legal Aid of Wyoming Inc.(877) 432-9955This federally funded nonprofit provides free legal advice to seniors and low-income residents from six regional offices. It hosts free legal workshops on common issues, such as taxes and collections. Attorneys and support staff assist with cases related to health care, government benefits, advance directives, estate planning and housing. They also provide referrals and self-help resources.
Wyoming Center on Aging(307) 766-2829The Wyoming Center on Aging at the University of Wyoming is a collaborative organization that works to build age-friendly communities that support the health and well-being of seniors statewide. It offers an array of educational resources and training materials for patients, caregivers and medical professionals. Self-management courses for seniors with chronic diseases are available through Healthy U, and the Dementia Support Center offers education, community-based services and evidence-based care for dementia patients and their caregivers.
Wyoming Aging and Disability Resource Center(800) 442-2766Sponsored by the Wyoming Department of Health, Community Living Section, the Wyoming ADRC is a comprehensive resource designed to increase the safety, health and independence of seniors by supporting those who opt to receive care in the least restrictive environment. It connects seniors to local agencies that assist with housing, in-home care, rehabilitative services, case management, counseling and crisis support.
Wyoming Senior Citizens Inc.(800) 856-4398This nonprofit has supported seniors and their families since 1975. Its long-term care ombudsman can provide more about nursing homes and resolve disputes with long-term care providers. It offers Medicare counseling and information about Medicaid, long-term care insurance and financial assistance programs. Its Senior Medicare Patrol helps Medicare beneficiaries detect billing errors and fraud. It’s also responsible for administering caregiver respite grants and related benefits in select counties.

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Wyoming

LicensingThe Wyoming Department of Health, Aging Division licenses nursing homes that provide nursing and skilled nursing.
StaffingFacilities must maintain sufficient 24-hour nursing staff, including RNs, LPNs and certified nursing assistants, to provide 1.5 hours of daily nursing care or 2.25 hours of daily skilled care to each resident depending on their needs. Nursing homes must employ a full-time director of nursing who is a licensed RN and has adequate experience to make staffing changes and other administrative or departmental decisions.
Staff TrainingNursing staff members must have appropriate credentials, including at least 75 hours of training to become a CNA. Facilities must provide in-service education to help all staff members, including housekeeping and food service workers, perform assigned duties.
Admission RestrictionsNursing homes may not admit residents who require rehabilitative care unless these services are offered by the facility.
Care PlanningState regulations require nursing homes to secure medical records and physician orders before admitting a resident unless temporary orders are available or a resident requires emergency placement. Each resident’s progress must be reviewed at least once every 30 days.
Dietary and Nutrition ServicesNursing homes must provide adequate dietetic services to meet residents’ nutritional needs. Facilities must employ a registered dietitian or a similarly qualified professional or consultant who can observe the preparation and consumption of community meals. Dietary staff members must oversee the facility’s monthly food service program.
Specialized Rehabilitative ServicesSkilled nursing facilities that accept residents who need specialized rehabilitative care must employ adequate personnel to deliver these services. Providers must create biweekly progress reports, and the resident’s rehabilitative care plan should be reevaluated every 30 days by the therapist and attending physician.
Medication and Pharmaceutical ServicesNursing homes must provide all medications and biologicals as required by residents. Medications may be ordered in-house or through a community pharmacy. Facilities must employ a licensed pharmacist or consultant to oversee the facility’s pharmaceutical services and provide quarterly reports.
ActivitiesWyoming requires nursing homes to provide ongoing nonmandatory activities that accommodate residents’ abilities and interests. Activities must address residents’ physical and emotional well-being and include religious events if desired. Nursing homes must provide adequate materials and supplies needed for recreational pursuits.
Infection ControlNursing homes must have written policies and procedures for preventing infections across the facility. These requirements apply to dietary, housekeeping and environmental services. Incidences of infectious diseases affecting residents or employees must be reported to the Wyoming Department of Health as required.
Medicaid CoverageWyoming Medicaid pays for long-term care provided in a licensed nursing facility or residential setting when beneficiaries meet income and asset limits and medical eligibility criteria. Benefits are available to individuals who earn no more than 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate and use the majority of their income for long-term care.