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Medicare Supplement Plans in South Dakota

It might be time to consider a Medicare Supplement plan in South Dakota if you’ve enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B or are preparing to take that step soon. Your best chance to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in South Dakota arrives with your 65th birthday, and it can take some time to compare rates online to secure the best rates.

Medicare Supplement plans are often referred to as Medigap because they’re designed to fill in the gaps or out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered by Original Medicare. This includes coinsurance payments, copayments, and deductibles. If you have a lot of questions regarding Medicare Supplement plans in South Dakota, bookmark this page. From how Medigap policies work, to when you should enroll, the answers are here.

Medicare Supplement Plans in South Dakota: Enrollment Statistics

  • The largest counties in South Dakota include Minnehaha County, Pennington County, Lincoln County, Brookings County and Codington County.
  • In 2015, there were more than 150,000 Medicare beneficiaries in South Dakota. This means approximately 18 percent of the state’s population had in Original Medicare.
  • In 2015, more than 65,000 South Dakota Medicare beneficiaries had Medigap policies. This represents close to half of all Medicare participants for the state.
  • With more than 50,000 state participants in 2015, Medigap Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan.

How Are Rates Calculated for Medicare Supplement Plans in South Dakota?

The rules for Medicare Supplement plans in South Dakota differ a bit from most other states when it comes to how disabled beneficiaries under the age of 65 are rated. Insurance companies are required to give younger, disabled Medigap enrollees the same rates that they would extend to beneficiaries aged 75 or older. If you’re a disabled Medicare beneficiary, this allows you to receive lower Medigap rates without waiting until you turn 65.

Once you’ve enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, there are a variety of factors that an insurance company may use to determine your Medicare Supplement plan rates, including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Use of tobacco products
  • Zip code or county

Also, insurance companies use one of three rating formulas depending on state rules:

  • Attained-Age Rating

    Your Medicare Supplement plan premium is based on your current age, so the price goes up as you age.

  • Issue-Age Rating 

    Your age at the time of enrollment always impacts your rate. Your premium doesn’t go up due to your advancing age over time.

  • Community Rating 

    All participants receive the same rate regardless of age. Premiums will still vary between plans due to other factors.

Available Medicare Supplement Plans in South Dakota?

There are 10 available Medicare Supplement plans in South Dakota. Medigap Plan F also offers a high-deductible option, so you may consider that plan number 11. Each of these plans is available to any Original Medicare beneficiary, including those who qualify due to health conditions rather than age. The plans range from letter A through N.

The federal government standardizes each Medicare Supplement plan. You will receive the same benefits regardless of which insurance company you select. This makes it easy to compare rates online. Understanding your selected plan’s formula can help predict the future premiums.

How Does A Medicare Supplement Plan Cover Prescription Drugs?

Prescription drug benefits are always separate from the standardized Medicare Supplement plans in South Dakota or any other state for that matter. Once enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you can also enroll in Medicare Part D. This is the portion of Original Medicare that applies only to prescription drug coverage. You can compare premiums online and then select the insurance company that you want to cover your Medicare prescription drug plan.

Medicare Supplement Plans in South Dakota: When Can I enroll?

Your first opportunity to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan comes when you turn 65. This is your initial enrollment period, and it lasts six months from the first day of the month in which you turn 65. There are some benefits to selecting a Medigap plan during this period:

  • Guaranteed Enrollment – Insurance companies cannot deny coverage during this period.
  • Guaranteed Renewal – The insurance company must renew your policy each year. The only grounds for legal cancellation of your policy are a misrepresentation of yourself to the insurance company or failure to pay your premiums.
  • Underwriting Bypass – The Medigap open enrollment period allows you to skip the underwriting process, which means that you don’t have to answer questions regarding diagnosed health conditions or your medical history.

If you don’t sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan during your initial enrollment period, you may qualify for a special enrollment period at a later time. These periods give you the same benefits listed above for the initial enrollment.

If special enrollment circumstances don’t apply to you and your initial enrollment period has closed, you can still apply for a Medicare Supplement plan in South Dakota. The guaranteed enrollment and renewal terms won’t apply to you in this case. The underwriters will ask questions regarding your medical history.

Can I Use My South Dakota Medicare Supplement Plan In Other States?

Yes, and this is one of the benefits of enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan. You don’t have to worry about networks. Any provider willing to accept Original Medicare is an option. You may notice a change in your premium if you move from one state to another. However, it doesn’t impact your use of the Medigap policy.

South Dakota Medicare Resources:

  • SHIINE – free, confidential financial counseling for all Medicare beneficiaries in South Dakota
  • South Dakota Medicaid Program – a concise guide to the Medicaid qualifications for Medicare beneficiaries