Health insurance enrollment opens
Open enrollment for health insurance through the federal exchange website will be shortened this year, giving Wyoming residents less time to enroll in health care plans for the year 2018.
This year, the enrollment period will begin November 1 and will go until December 15. In previous years, the enrollment period ran from Nov. 1 until Jan. 31, giving those wanting to purchase insurance policies though the exchange 45 fewer days in which to do so.
In Wyoming, there are 24,826 people who have health insurance through the federal exchange, or about 4.5 percent of the state’s estimated population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Between 2016 and 2017, the numbers of people insured by plans sold through the exchange website increased about 4 percent.
With 11.5 percent of the population without health insurance, Wyoming ranks seventh in the nation according to 2016 figures published by the Census Bureau. Texas ranks first in the numbers of uninsured at 16.6 percent.
Between 2013 and 2016, the number of uninsured in Wyoming decreased by 1.9 percent, the second lowest decrease in the nation next to Massachusetts which already had the lowest percentage of uninsured in the nation prior to the Affordable Care Act, the bill that created the exchange.
Since the introduction of the ACA exchanges, the amount of uncompensated care in the state of Wyoming—care that is written off by healthcare providers because of a recipient’s inability to pay—has decreased 5.7 percent in Wyoming, and 22.8 percent nationwide.
In 2015, uncompensated care was estimated at $77 million, or about $83,000 for every person in the state of Wyoming.