Wyoming: Hating The Obama, Loving The Care

ACASignups Charles Gaba: Among 10 states with the highest share of farmers, Wyoming uses the federal health insurance marketplace the most. This according to a new analysis by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. That marketplace is a virtual space for comparing plans and finding insurance often more affordable than elsewhere thanks to federal subsidies. 

There are touches of me in this post, so don’t wonder why some of it make be different. I read this and I wonder what the hell are people thinking when they block healthcare or will not get it because of a name.

Wyomingites may be skeptical of Obamacare, but many use it for health insurance, WyoFile

Wyoming leaders have repeatedly rejected Medicaid expansion. A new study shows many residents here rely on another component of the Affordable Care Act: the health insurance marketplace.

Among 10 states with the highest share of farmers, Wyoming uses the federal health insurance market place the most, according to a new analysis by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. That market place is a virtual space for comparing plans and finding insurance that’s often more affordable than elsewhere thanks to federal subsidies.

More than 42,000 Wyomingites made marketplace plan selections during the 2024 open enrollment period, comprising more than 7% of the state population.

Why Are Monthly Premiums So Low Now?

The analysis shows Wyoming benefited the most from advanced premium tax credits, bringing down the $937 average monthly market premium in the state to $118.

But why is such occurring? Katherine Hempstead, report author and senior policy advisor for the foundation, focusing on public health and health care issues . . .

“Healthcare is actually more expensive in a lot of rural states than in urban states because there is a shortage of providers. It’s not very competitive, there is long distances, and Wyoming is an especially expensive state for healthcare.”

Wyoming has the nation’s third-highest average premium rates, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services

Premium costs vary by zip code and personal situations, but these tax credits are often crucial for Wyoming families, said Caleb Smith with Enroll Wyoming — a free tool to help people navigate the marketplace. Smith said . . .

“They’re a make or break for most people.”

According to the analysis, 95% of people using the marketplace in Wyoming receive those tax credits. Others may have just not filled out paperwork or might not qualify.

Without being renewed, the tax credits will expire in 2026. And without the credits, self-employed groups like farmers could have a harder time affording health care, Hempstead said, and being uninsured in a higher-risk profession can be costly.

However, there is a stigma attached to getting Obamacare.

Nickname being one of them. Tens of thousands of Wyomingites utilize the marketplace and there is still stigma associated with it. The marketplace was created via the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. The name, alone, can be polarizing in conservative Wyoming. 

Also, according to Smith, there’s also concern over seeming like you need help.

“Some people still see it as a stigma to be using these programs, even if it means improving the quality of care,” he said. “That’s not just the marketplace, I’ve worked with our local soup kitchen, and I know people that would rather go hungry than be seen in person at the soup kitchen.”

The marketplace is primarily for helping people look through health insurance options at a time when costs have ballooned nationwide. That may include people who are self-employed, working jobs that don’t provide insurance and those who don’t qualify for Medicaid. 

Smith and “Enroll Wyoming” work with people to help them navigate the marketplace and other insurance options in Wyoming. While most people sign up during open enrollment from November through mid-January, there are many qualifying reasons to sign up at other times.

Getting Medicaid

With Medicaid, the Robert Wood Johnson analysis reveals Wyoming has the lowest rate of Medicaid use among the 10 farm states with about 73,000, 12.6% of the state are using it. Furthermore. Both Wyoming and Kansas failed to pass the Medicaid expansion. In case, you forgot what the expansion is about.

In states expanding Medicaid coverage: You qualify based on your income alone. If your household income is below 133% of the federal poverty level, you qualify. (Because of the way this is calculated, it turns out to be 138% of the federal poverty level. A few states use a different income limit.)

Wyoming is one of 10 states not passing the Medicaid expansion, It faces strong opposition from the right. After several failed attempts, many suspect it will never happen here They still hope for some way to cover more people who fall into a gap of making too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford marketplace insurance plans.

What the hell, a kid gets a freebie measles shot and adult get flu shots. Can’t have that happen if they have no manure on their soles, right? Some are so ??? backwards.

The state estimates that expanding Medicaid could cover about 19,000 more residents over two years.

Meantime, about 17,600 Wyoming enrollees of Medicaid and Kid Care CHIP lost coverage over the last year as the state reevaluated who qualifies. That’s following a few-year hiatus from the reviews during the pandemic. 

Some people lost coverage when their income increased, but most are kids whose guardians didn’t turn in the necessary paperwork. 

“The main thing is that we just want people to get health coverage so they can take care of their health, so they can have long happy lives with their friends and family.”

Nearly one in four adults disenrolled from Medicaid in the last year are now uninsured, according to a KFF survey.