Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune today issued the following statement regarding the opening of enrollment season for the Medicare

Prescription Drug benefit tomorrow, November 15:

"Tomorrow, for the first time ever, South Dakota Medicare beneficiaries will have an opportunity to sign up for voluntary prescription drug coverage through Medicare. I am pleased our seniors have the opportunity to sign up for a benefit that will reduce prescription drug costs, especially for low-income seniors," Thune said. "The new benefit offers many choices for prescription drug coverage. I encourage beneficiaries to examine plans carefully to find the right one to meet their individual health care needs."

The Medicare Modernization Act, signed into law in 2003, provides beneficiaries with insurance coverage for their prescription drugs. Companies will compete to provide coverage for both brand name and generic drugs. Approximately 17 organizations will be offering stand-alone prescription drug plans in South Dakota.

Seniors who wish to participate can sign up for a Medicare prescription drug plan starting November 15, 2005 through May 15, 2006.

Several authorized organizations are ready to help Medicare beneficiaries in South Dakota find prescription drug coverage that is right for them. Below is a list of organizations that South Dakota seniors can contact to help them enroll:

  1. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS)

    1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-633-4227

    www.medicare.gov


  2. Senior Health Information and Insurance Education (SHIINE)

    1-800-536-8197

    www.state.sd.us/social/ASA/SHIINE


  3. South Dakota Social Security Offices (for questions about extra help for people with limited incomes)

    1-800-772-1213

    www.ssa.gov/prescriptionhelp



Seniors may also contact Senator Thune’s office at 1-866-850-3855 with questions regarding the Medicare prescription drug benefit.