The Wyoming Department of Health wants suggestions from the public about a proposal meant to save state and federal dollars while preventing or delaying nursing home stays for certain older Wyoming residents, according to a press release.

“We’d rather try to help some of these residents before they actually begin living in a long-term care facility,” said Franz Fuchs, a Department senior policy analyst.

“A substantial segment of Wyoming Medicaid’s annual budget is dedicated to paying for nursing home care for many of our state’s residents and it is expensive care,” Fuchs said. “More importantly, staying within the home as long as possible is what most people want for themselves and for their family members.”

The department is applying for a Medicaid “waiver” to the federal government. "Waiver” refers to “waiving” certain provisions of the Social Security Act, which governs Medicaid programs.

Wyoming Medicaid aims to prevent or delay Medicaid-paid nursing home stays by “intercepting” people who may later qualify for Medicaid only by spending down assets after they are residing in an institutional setting.

The waiver would expand a limited menu of Medicaid home- and community-based services to adults over 65 years who meet the following criteria:

  • Have a monthly income that is less than 400 percent of the Supplemental Security Income standard (roughly $3,656 per month) instead of the current 300 percent limit (roughly $2,742 per month).
  • Meet a lower threshold on Medicaid’s level-of-care assessment than the current standard.
  • Have countable non-house assets less than $10,000. The current limit is $2,000.

WDH invites public comment during two planned meetings:

-- August 24, from noon to 3 p.m., in Cheyenne at the Laramie County Library - Willow Room.

Participants can access the video call link, or dial: ‪(US) +1 413-752-2834, PIN: ‪128 849 639#.

-- August 25, noon to 3 p.m. in Casper in the Turntable Room (3017) at the Thyra Thomson State Office Building, 444 W. Collins Drive.

Participants can access the video call link, or dial: ‪(US) +1 662-4040, PIN: ‪730 449 093#.

For more information, feedback and public comment go to the Google form found at https://ltcexpansion.wyo.gov/.

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