The Wyoming Home Services Program (WyHS) is designed to help seniors and individuals with disabilities who are at risk of nursing-home placement. It does so by providing a variety of supports that enable them to remain living in their home or in the home of a caregiver. Services typically include personal care, chore services, homemaker services, respite care, and adult day care.
Services may be provided free of charge to low-income seniors and disabled individuals who do not have the means to pay. For residents with slightly higher incomes, services can be obtained on a sliding scale. However, these fees are well below what the services would otherwise cost if purchased directly from a home care agency.
The Home Services Program is under the administration of the Wyoming Department of Health’s Aging Division. Each year, approximately 3,000 Wyoming seniors receive assistance from this program.
What is a Medicaid Waiver?
Medicaid Waivers, also known as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers, allow qualifying program participants to receive services outside of a nursing home. Medicaid’s standard benefit is to pay for nursing home care. However, those who wish to live at home, in assisted living or in adult foster care, sometimes Medicaid will pay for nursing-home-level care in those locations if it can be obtained at a lower cost than in a nursing home.
To be eligible for this program, candidates must:
- Be Wyoming residents. No length of residency is required. Newcomers to the state can participate in the program.
- Be 60 years of age or older, or be disabled as determined by the Social Security Administration and over the age of 18.
- Be at risk of institutionalization prematurely.
There are no income eligibility requirements, and clients are charged based on a sliding-fee scale. While all providers are encouraged to collect some sort of fee for services, no one is refused services for inability to pay as long as funds for the program are still available.
Wyoming’s Department of Health does have a suggested sliding scale for co-payments based on household income, although providers of WyHS services are not required to use this scale. Therefore, based on the service provider, the suggested co-payment will vary.
As a very general rule of thumb, program participants with income less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) may possibly receive services free of charge. Currently, this means applicants with annual income under $13,590 ($1,132.50 / month). To be clear, with this sliding scale, the fee is based on the net income of the household and is effective July 1st through June 30th. These figures will be adjusted to a slightly higher rate on July 1, 2023.
Benefits and Services
The available services are different in each county and change year to year, depending on the available budget. It is estimated the average annual value of services a program participant receives is $1,300. Typically, the following supports and types of care are available through this program.
- Adult day care
- Chore services – snow removal, washing windows, cleaning gutters, etc.
- Homemaker services – light housekeeping, money management, meal preparation, etc.
- Personal or attendant care – assistance with eating, dressing, mobility, toiletry, and hygiene
- Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)
- Respite care for the caregiver – provides a break from caregiving duties for primary caregivers
- Care coordination – assessment and determination of services needed
- Home modifications
- Medication setup
How to Apply / Learn More
Limited program information is available on the Wyoming Department of Health’s website. To learn more, call 307-777-8566 or 800-442-2766. There may be a wait list to receive services.
Did You Know?
Estimates for bathroom safety modifications that help seniors remain living independently and safely in their homes can be obtained free of charge. Learn more.