- What is Medicare?
Medicare is the federal health insurance for those who are 65 years of age or older, or those who have specific disabilities such as End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS).
- Who is eligible for Medicare?
Individuals automatically become eligible for Medicare upon becoming 65 years old. Medicare also covers End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS), and those who receive disability from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
- How can I find out if I am eligible for Medicare?
The initial enrollment period for Medicare will begin three months before your 65th birthday. You can apply online on the social security website or in the local Social Security office.
- What is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage provides an alternative to the traditional Medicare Part A or B. Advantage plans are provided through private insurance companies who have contracted with Medicare to provide the same benefits that one would have with Original Medicare, but allows for additional coverage for things like chronic conditions, nursing homes and long-term care, dental, and vision. In order to be eligible for Medicare Advantage, you must already be enrolled in Medicare A or B and live in the appropriate service area.
- What is Medicare Rx, Medicare Part D?
South Dakota Medicare Part D, also known as Medicare Rx, provides additional coverage for prescription drugs. While you are automatically eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65, you must specifically sign-up for Part D if you want its benefits. In order to be eligible for Part D, you must first be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B. After you are enrolled, find the appropriate Medicare D program for your service area. Penalties can be assigned if you do not have appropriate prescription drug coverage, so you will want to ensure that you verify that this step is completed. If you currently have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you will not need Medicare Part D.
- Does Medicare satisfy the health insurance requirement?
Yes, if you currently have Medicare Part A, you are covered and satisfy the health insurance requirement. If you only have Medicare Part B, you are not covered and may incur a penalty if you don't have additional health insurance coverage.
- How does Obamacare work with Medicare?
South Dakota's Medicare has expanded its coverage with the Affordable Care Act to include more wellness visits, health screenings, and other preventive care services.