Guide to Senior Living in Wyoming
Wyoming had nearly 580,000 residents in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; 16.5% of those residents were at least 65 years old. By 2040, adults 65 and older are expected to make up 22.5% of the state’s population. Known for its excellent health care, no state income tax, and Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming is a great place for seniors ready to relax and enjoy their retirement.
Another reason seniors love Wyoming is that the average costs of care are lower here than in many other states. For example, Wyoming residents pay an average of $3,780 per month for assisted living, nearly $300 per month less than the national average.
This guide explains the types of care available to Wyoming seniors, provides details on the average cost of each type of care, and introduces several programs that may help seniors pay for care as they get older.
The Cost of Senior Living in Wyoming
Note: There currently isn’t authoritative data on the average cost of Independent Living Facilities nationwide, so instead, we use the cost of Assisted Living to estimate it. Since the cost of Independent Living is typically 30-40% lower than the cost of Assisted Living, the numbers below were calculated by subtracting 35% from the cost of Assisted Living.
Note: Memory care is typically provided in communities licensed as assisted living facilities, and in general, costs 20-30% more than standard assisted living services. No authoritative cost data is available for this type of care, so we estimated memory care rates by adding 25% to assisted living fees in the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey.
Seniors in Wyoming have access to several support and care options. More active seniors who are generally in good health may find the convenience of an independent living community suits them well. Assisted living facilities help seniors who struggle with the activities of daily living maintain as much independence as possible. Meanwhile, memory care communities and nursing homes offer more specialist support for those who require dementia care services or 24-hour support and nursing care.
According to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2021, Wyoming is a generally affordable place for seniors looking for long-term care. Independent living is the most affordable option, averaging around $2,710 per month, due to the light-touch nature of the support they offer. Assisted living services cost slightly more, at $4,169 per month, with seniors receiving more support with cooking, personal care and housekeeping. Memory care communities provide more specialized support and supervision for $5,211 per month. Nursing home care is the most costly, averaging monthly fees of $6,996 for a semiprivate room in a facility offering 24-hour skilled nursing and supervision.
Nursing Home Care
The Cost of Assisted Living in Wyoming
Wyoming’s assisted living fees are slightly lower than the national average of $4,500. Seniors in nearby Utah pay far less, with facilities typically charging $3,500 per month. Montana’s assisted living communities charge closer to the national average, with care typically costing $4,450 monthly. Fees are higher again in Colorado, at $4,750.
The United States
The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Wyoming
Nursing home facilities in Wyoming are almost $1,000 cheaper per month than the national average of $7,908 and are more affordable than those in the surrounding states. Seniors in Utah pay slightly more, with the average being $7,178. Fees in Montana are slightly higher again, at $7,574. Colorado has some of the most costly nursing homes in the area, with seniors typically paying $8,578 per month for a semiprivate room.
The United States
Can You Use Medicaid to Pay for Senior Living in Wyoming?
Wyoming’s senior living options may be affordable compared to nearby states, but low-income seniors may still struggle to cover the cost of their care. Medicaid in Wyoming can pay for limited personal care services and nursing home care for the elderly. Seniors may also be eligible for support via the Community Choices Home & Community Based Services Medicaid Waiver, which covers the cost of a variety of personal care services and basic health care provided in the senior’s own home or in an assisted living facility.
As in most states, Medicaid doesn’t cover the cost of independent living as this is an optional living situation for seniors rather than a medical requirement.
|Medicaid Coverage Level||Type of Medicaid Coverage||Entitlement?*|
|Assisted Living||Partial||Medicaid Waivers||No|
|Memory Care||Partial||Medicaid Waivers||No|
|Nursing Home Care||Full||Medicaid||Yes|
*Note: Entitlement programs mean that everyone who qualifies will receive coverage and be accepted into the programs. If the program is not “entitlement,” then participant caps could be in place, and there may be a waiting list.
Medicaid’s Coverage of Assisted Living & Memory Care in Wyoming
Wyoming’s Medicaid program covers the costs of nursing home care directly. Those who need help with the cost of care in an assisted living or memory care facility may qualify for help through the Community Choices Home and Community Based Services Waiver (CCW). This waiver is designed to help older adults avoid premature placement in a nursing home.
Community Choices Home and Community Based Services Waiver
This Medicaid waiver covers the cost of personal care services, senior transportation, medication assistance, and other day-to-day care in a community setting. Assisted living communities and memory care facilities may qualify if they can deliver the care the senior needs for a lower price than a nursing home would. The waiver is designed for those who are aged 65 and over or living with a disability. Seniors must meet income and asset limitations to qualify. It isn’t an entitlement program, so there may be a waiting list for support.
Seniors can apply for the CCW by contacting the Division of Healthcare Financing Long Term Care Unit to find a local Benefits and Eligibility Specialist. The application process involves meeting with a public health nurse to confirm the level of care the applicant needs.
Medicaid’s Coverage of Nursing Home Care in Wyoming
Wyoming’s Medicaid program covers nursing home care for seniors directly. To qualify for support, seniors must be assessed as requiring a Nursing Facility Level of Care (NFLOC). The nursing home element of Medicaid is an entitlement program, so all those who meet the income and asset requirements and pass the needs assessment can receive support. Those whose income or assets exceed the entitlement threshold may be able to take part in a spend-down program in order to qualify.
Eligibility for Medicaid in Wyoming
The Medicaid program in Wyoming is open to those aged 65 or over, and those who are blind or disabled. There are income and asset limitations that vary depending on whether the applicant is married or not. Sole applicants are permitted to have an income of up to $30,276 per year and assets of up to $2,000 while claiming nursing home/institutional Medicaid or a home and community-based services waiver. Couples, where both people are applying, can have an income of $30,276 each. The asset limit for a couple is $3,000. In cases where only one member of a couple is applying, there are community asset protection measures for the non-applicant spouse.
2022 Wyoming Medicaid Income Limits
|Income Limits*||Asset Limits|
|Two-Person Household(Only one applicant)||$30,276||$2,000 (applicant)$137,400 (non-applicant)|
|Two-Person Household(Two applicants)||$60,552||$3,000|
In addition to the financial eligibility criteria, seniors must meet other requirements, including:
- Citizenship and residency requirements
- Be aged 65 or over
- Be assessed as requiring a nursing facility level of care (NFLOC)
Applying for Medicaid in Wyoming
Seniors can apply for Medicaid online using the Wyoming Eligibility System. Alternatively, applications can be made by telephone at (855) 294-2127. Paper applications are also accepted, and a printable version of the application form is available on the Wyoming Government’s Health website.
Before You Apply
For a smoother application process, seniors should prepare the documentation they need before they apply. These include:
- Bank statements
- Passport/birth certificate or driving license
- Education records may be accepted instead of a birth certificate
- Proof of SSI/VA benefits
- Property deeds/car titles
- Evidence of other assets
- Proof of any health coverage
How to Get Help
The following organizations offer help and advice for seniors who are struggling with the Medicaid application process. They provide information about the eligibility criteria and application process, along with useful contacts for those who need more hands-on help.
|Contact||What You Should Know|
|Benefits.gov||Online Resource||The Beneits.gov website provides a detailed breakdown of the Wyoming Medicaid system, the eligibility requirements, and how to apply. It also provides a list of useful telephone numbers and websites for local organizations that can help seniors with the application process.|
|WY Medicaid/CHIP Web Portal||(855) 294-2127||The WY Medicaid/CHIP Portal is the official online portal for Wyoming Medicaid. The portal allows seniors to apply for Medicaid and manage their claims. It also has a resource section to help would-be applicants understand whether they’re likely to be eligible, and learn how the application process works.|
|Wyoming Department of Health||(307) 777-7531||The Wyoming Department of Health provides an extensive Frequently Asked Questions section covering Medicaid. The FAQ covers eligibility for the program, different waivers, and how long the application process takes to complete. It also provides a list of valuable contact details.|
Can You Use Medicare to Pay for Senior Living in Wyoming?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living, independent living, or memory care. Unlike nursing homes, these care types are not considered to be “clinical settings” and so are not eligible for Medicare coverage. That being said, those who live in these communities can still use Medicare to cover the cost of approved medications, doctor visits, medical equipment, etc.
When it comes to nursing home care, it gets much more complicated. Medicare does provide limited coverage for a qualified stay in a nursing home,but there are strict rules and requirements of which you should be aware. This benefit is available to seniors who have been hospitalized for at least three days, excluding the date of discharge.
Once you’ve met the hospitalization requirement, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility (per benefit period). While the first 20 days are covered in full, there is a daily coinsurance rate that must be paid starting on day 21. After day 100, seniors are responsible for the entire cost.
|Medicare Coverage||Medicare Coverage Duration||Coinsurance Requirement?|
|Nursing Home Care||Limited||100 Days Per Benefit Period||Yes – After 20 Days|
What Nursing Home Care Services Does Medicare Cover?
Medicare covers a number of specific services, including:
- A semiprivate room
- Skilled nursing services
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Audiologist care
- Medical supplies
- Medical social services
- Nutritional counseling
- Ambulance transportation
What Nursing Home Care Services Aren’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.
Medicare Support and Resources in Wyoming
The following organizations offer advice and assistance for seniors who are considering applying for Medicare. They answer questions about the Medicare system and can help older adults choose the right plans and providers for their needs.
|Contact||What You Should Know|
|Wyoming State Health Insurance Information Program||(800) 856-4398||The State Health Insurance Information Program provides impartial advice and information about Medicare parts and providers. It helps combat Medicare fraud while also helping seniors pick the right plan for their health needs and financial circumstances. Trained, unbiased advisors answer seniors’ questions and guide them through the Medicare process.|
|Medicare.gov||(800) 633-4227||The Medicare.gov website is a national website providing information about Medicare, the different coverage options available, and the providers seniors can choose from. It offers a dedicated “Talk to Someone” advice line seniors can call 24/7 to have their Medicare questions answered.|
|Wyoming Insurance Department||Online Resource||The Wyoming Department of Insurance is a government department that can offer advice and support for consumers who have purchased insurance products in the state, including health insurance. It has an extensive knowledge base and provides buyer’s guides, FAQ pages and advice on a variety of Medicare-related issues.|
Are There Other Financial Assistance Options for Senior Living in Wyoming?
Depending on your unique situation, there may be other financial assistance options to partially or fully cover the cost of senior living in Wyoming. Below, we cover some of the common ways that seniors can make senior living options such as assisted living or memory care more affordable.
|How to Get Started||What You Should Know|
|Aid and Attendance||Apply online at va.gov.||If you are a veteran and you receive a VA pension, you may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit. This benefit takes the form of a monthly cash allowance that you receive in addition to your standard pension. This benefit is used by veterans who need long-term care services, including care received at an assisted living facility.|
|Reverse Mortgages||Research and learn about the different types at ftc.gov.||If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to access some of the equity in your home. Like traditional loans, reverse mortgages do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months, so seniors should carefully weigh this option alongside other financing methods.|
|Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance||Learn about how to receive LTC insurance benefits at acl.gov.||While those who currently need assisted living will typically not be eligible, if you purchased an LTC insurance policy in the past, you may be able to use it to help pay for assisted living. While most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, you still need to check the specific terms of your policy.|
Free Senior Living Resources for Seniors in Wyoming
Seniors can contact the following organizations for support with health insurance and financial issues, or to access care and support services to help them remain independent as they age. These organizations offer free or low cost advice, education and assistance programs.
|Contact||What You Should Know|
|AARP Wyoming||AARP Wyoming is the state chapter of this national senior-focused organization. AARP serves Americans aged 50 and over, advocating for them on issues ranging from healthcare and retirement planning to senior services. The website has an extensive database of information and advice, and the AARP also publishes an informative magazine and hosts regular events and chapter meetings.|
|Alzheimer’s Association Wyoming Chapter||(800) 272-3900||The Alzheimer’s Association is a national organization that works to support those who are living with the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It offers information and advice to help seniors and their loved ones understand what an Alzheimer’s diagnosis means and what to expect following that diagnosis. It also funds research and provides useful contact details for local organizations seniors can turn to for practical help.|
|Wyoming Department of Health – Aging Division||(800) 442-2766||The Aging Division of the Department of Health oversees a variety of community services and health care programs for older adults in the state. It’s responsible for health care licensing and community programs and offers seniors advice and assistance on health care and how to access local services.|
|Wyoming Veterans Commission||(800) 833-5987||The Wyoming Veterans Commission runs outreach and education programs for veterans and advocates for better support and services for them. Former military personnel living in Wyoming can contact the commission to find their nearest Veterans Services Officer and request help with claiming VA pensions and benefits or accessing other veteran-focused support services.|
|Long Term Care Ombudsman||(307) 777-2885||The Long-Term Care Ombudsman works with seniors residing in long-term care facilities and their loved ones. It advocates for higher standards of care for facility residents and mediates in the event of complaints or disputes about care standards. Volunteer ombudsmen investigate concerns about care standards or reports of elder abuse and help families ensure their loved ones are receiving a high standard of care at all times.|
COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions for Wyoming Senior Living Facilities
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including health.wyo.gov and cdc.gov/coronavirus. These rules apply to nursing homes 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.
Visiting Loved Ones
|Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
|Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?||Yes|
|Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?||No|
|Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?||Yes|
|Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?||Yes|
|Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?||Yes|
|Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?||Yes|
|Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?||Yes|
Outings and Group Activities
|Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?||Yes|
|Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?||No (Conditions Apply)|
|Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?||No|
|Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
|Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
Safety Measures for Staff & Contractors
|Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?||Yes|
|Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
|Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?||Yes|
Safety Measures for Residents
|Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?||Yes|
|Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?||No|
|Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?||Yes|
|Are residents being tested for coronavirus?||Yes (Conditions Apply)|
Senior Living Laws and Regulations in Wyoming
Note: All these rules typically apply to non-clinical senior living facilities, such as independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities. Nursing homes and other senior living facilities with a clinical setting may have additional or slightly different requirements and regulations.
The Wyoming Department of Health Division of Licensing and Surveys regulates senior living facilities in Wyoming. Every facility must obtain a valid license before admitting a resident, which protects seniors from moving to facilities that don’t provide adequate accommodations. Chapter 12 of the Wyoming Administrative Rules outlines the regulations senior living facilities must follow to keep their licenses in good standing. The following regulations are some of the most important for protecting residents of senior living facilities.
Scope of Care
In Wyoming, senior living facilities aren’t permitted to provide skilled nursing care. They’re allowed to offer limited nursing care, which is defined as the level of care that would be given by a certified nursing assistant. Senior living facilities may also offer medication management, help visually impaired residents move around the premises, arrange for transportation to medical appointments and provide help with some activities of daily living, such as bathing or getting dressed. Senior living facilities may operate specialized units for residents with dementia, but any facility with a secure unit must obtain a Level II license and meet additional licensing requirements to ensure resident safety.
The Division of Licensing and Surveys has implemented strict requirements for facilities operating secure dementia units. Anyone who manages a senior living facility with a secure dementia unit must have at least three years of experience in geriatrics or caring for the disabled, be certified as an senior living facility administrator or have equivalent training. Administrators must also complete 16 hours of continuing education each year; at least half of this continuing education must be specific to caring for residents with dementia and other cognitive impairments.
Secure dementia units must also follow stringent staffing requirements to ensure the safety of residents. A licensed nurse must be on duty at all times. This typically means a registered nurse, but licensed practical nurses are permitted to provide care if a registered nurse is available to offer guidance via telephone. Direct care staff must receive additional training in the facility’s approach to dementia care, the skills needed to assist residents who are unable to complete activities of daily living on their own and techniques for handling behaviors such as wandering and delusions. Senior living facilities are also required to provide programming to help support each resident’s highest level of function.
Every senior living facility in Wyoming must have a manager designated by the owner or a governing body. Managers must be at least 21 years old and complete at least 48 semester hours of postsecondary education in facility management, health care, caring for the elderly or other relevant topics.
Wyoming doesn’t have a minimum staffing ratio for senior living facilities, but each facility must have enough staff to provide an appropriate level of care for each resident. Every staff member must complete a fingerprint background check conducted by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and undergo screening by the Department of Family Services Central Registry before starting work at a senior living facility.
Reports of Abuse and Neglect
Any allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation must be documented in the resident’s records, reported to the resident’s family and reported to the Division of Licensing and Surveys within one business day. The facility must investigate the allegation and provide a written report to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman and the Division of Licensing and Surveys within five working days. The results of the investigation must also be placed in the resident’s file.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does assisted living cost in Wyoming?
Wyoming seniors can expect to pay $3,780 per month, on average, for assisted living.
Does Wyoming Medicaid pay for assisted living?
Traditional Medicaid doesn’t cover assisted living expenses for Wyoming residents; however, some seniors may qualify for the Community Choices Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver, which aims to help seniors remain in their communities. Seniors who qualify for the waiver can use the funds to pay for assisted living or other forms of care.
Does Medicare pay for assisted living?
No, Medicare usually doesn’t pay for assisted living. A senior recovering from a serious injury or illness may qualify for a temporary stay in a nursing home, but Medicare won’t cover any ongoing costs.
What types of care are provided by assisted living facilities?
Assisted living facilities generally provide help with meal planning, medication management and some activities of daily living. These services help residents remain as independent as possible while also maintaining their health and well-being.
What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?
Assisted living facilities offer a variety of services to help seniors maintain their independence. In contrast, nursing homes provide ongoing medical care to residents with serious health concerns. The environment of a nursing home is also much different from the environment of an assisted living facility. Nursing homes usually look similar to hospitals, with little in the way of personal touches in each room. Assisted living facilities have home-like environments, and residents may be able to make their mark by bringing their own furniture and decorations with them.
Learn More About Senior Living in Wyoming
The Top Cities for Senior Living in Wyoming
Learn more about the cost of senior living in the top Wyoming cities. Additionally, find reviews and information about assisted living facilities and other senior living communities across the state.
- Basin (2)
- Buffalo (2)
- Casper (8)
- Cheyenne (9)
- Cody (2)
- Douglas (1)
- Dubois (1)
- Evanston (3)
- Gillette (1)
- Green River (2)
- Jackson (1)
- Kemmerer (2)
- Lander (3)
- Laramie (1)
- Newcastle (3)
- Pine Bluffs (1)
- Powell (2)
- Rawlins (3)
- Riverton (1)
- Rock Springs (3)
- Sheridan (7)
- Thermopolis (2)
- Torrington (5)
- Wheatland (2)
- Worland (1)