Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Today, Senator John Thune praised the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for their decision to create pilot programs to ensure states are reimbursed for their costs associated with the startup of the new Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.

"I hope South Dakota will be able to take advantage of this program, so our state and local pharmacies don't get stuck with the startup costs for the new Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit," said Thune. "South Dakota has done a good job of successfully transitioning those seniors switching from Medicaid to Medicare Part D. It is only right for CMS to facilitate reimbursements for the state and participating pharmacies."

Last month, Senator Thune sent a letter to Dr. Mark McClellan, Administrator for CMS, requesting a detailed description of the steps that CMS will take to ensure that states and pharmacies recover expenditures due to administrative problems in the enrollment of dual-eligibles into the Medicare Part D program.

There are approximately 11,700 individuals in South Dakota currently on Medicaid who will now receive their prescription drugs through the Medicare Part D program. According to the South Dakota Department of Health and Human Services, about 50 percent of the dual-eligibles in South Dakota have experienced problems with their enrollment in Medicare Part D and it is estimated that about 25 percent will need the emergency funding provided by the state of South Dakota.