© Copyright 2005 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 42 No. 2    



Joining Forces to Secure Health Insurance Coverage in Wyoming
by: Krista R. Shinkle, Senior Economist

Recently, Research & Planning (R&P) joined in the Wyoming Healthcare Commission’s efforts to lower the number of uninsured in Wyoming. Through the Wyoming Department of Health and with funding provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration State Planning Grant 93-256, the Healthcare Commission contracted with R&P to ascertain the feasibility of a proposal called Wyo-Care.

The primary goal of Wyo-Care is to introduce a means of providing health coverage for employed persons without current health insurance through individual health savings accounts. Wyo-Care accounts are envisioned as a way for employers, employees, and others to share the cost of health insurance coverage.

The flyer and publication, Private Sector Employee Access to Health Insurance and the Potential Wyo-Care Market, present findings of the Wyo-Care feasibility study conducted by R&P. 

The first objective of the study was to examine Wyoming’s economic profile and determine which firm characteristics were likely to increase the probability of any particular firm offering health insurance to its employees. 

Research indicated that large firms with low turnover and high wages provided health coverage to their employees most often. Consequently, smaller firms with high turnover and low wages might find a program such as Wyo-Care beneficial.

The second objective was to gather employers’ opinions about healthcare and health insurance and to identify their level of willingness to participate in a program like Wyo-Care. R&P used both focus group discussions and a mail survey of random employers to obtain the information. 

Based on the survey responses, many Wyoming employers appear to be searching for alternative solutions to the problem of providing health insurance coverage to their employees amid rising insurance costs.

This publication represents an example of what can be accomplished through the integration of multiple research techniques: administrative databases, focus groups, and survey research. 

For a hard copy of the publication and flyer, contact R&P. Information about Wyo-Care is available from the Wyoming Healthcare Commission at www.wyominghealthcarecommission.org. An electronic version of this publication is also available on either the R&P or Healthcare Commission websites.

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