Wyoming residents will get to choose from roughly 16 health insurance plans as the new federal health insurance marketplace opens up today. While Wyoming premiums will be higher than the rest of the country, Mike Fierberg of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid says that tax credits will help offset the cost. He says credits will be available to low-income people, all the way up to salaries that are four-times the federal poverty level.
Governor Matt Mead is urging legislators not to dismiss health care issues, but to study them and craft a Wyoming response to the Affordable Care Act. During his state of the state message today, Mead asked legislators to study both the health insurance exchange and Medicaid expansion.
The Supreme Court, in a five-four decision, upheld the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. The justices ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional under the commerce clause, but can go ahead as a tax.
The individual mandate requires that all people must buy health insurance. For insurance companies, that means they’ll be getting a large, new pool of customers. In Wyoming, 17-percent of the population is currently uninsured, compared to a nationwide average of 16-percent.
The Wyoming Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says that most complaints surrounding state prisons and jails involves improper medical of mental health care. Much of that has to do with inmates not getting their necessary medication.