Table of Contents

Medicare Plans by State

STATE -Select-
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
Page Reviewed / Updated – December 23, 2023

Millions of seniors participate in the federal Medicare program, which delivers health services to eligible older adults nationwide. The federal program, known as Original Medicare, delivers services in three parts, known as A, B and D. Part A is the inpatient hospital benefit, while Part B is the outpatient services program. Part D provides some prescription drug benefits for participating enrollees. Medicare Advantage is a parallel program, commonly called Part C.

Medicare Advantage delivers all the same benefits as Original Medicare Parts A and B, usually with some prescription benefits and a few extras not usually covered by Original Medicare, such as dental insurance and vision benefits. Part C plans typically combine Parts A and B costs into a single monthly premium with well-defined copays and coverage limits. Many seniors find this simplified structure easier to manage when they need health services.

Seniors in South Dakota have embraced Medicare Advantage as an alternative to Original Medicare. In just a single year, from 2022-23, Medicare Advantage enrollment in the state went up by nearly 37%, from 12% of total enrollment in 2022 to 17% in 2023. This growth came during a time when the national rate of increase was just 7%. Medicare Advantage Plans are not available nationwide, and each state allows providers a wide latitude in setting its own policy plans, coverage costs and limitations, but all plans are required to meet basic minimums for coverage. South Dakota has seen explosive growth in Medicare Advantage enrollment, a trend that’s set to keep rising for the foreseeable future as the state’s population of seniors continues to grow.

This guide covers the top Medicare Advantage Plans available in the state, along with helpful information about plan costs, enrollment numbers and even average consumer ratings. The goal is to provide enough information for seniors and their families to find and enroll in the Part C plan that’s best for them.

The Top Medicare Advantage Plans in South Dakota

South Dakota has several Medicare Advantage Plans seniors can choose between when they decide to switch over from Original Medicare. The providers decreased from eight in 2022 to four in 2023, leading to consolidation and increased popularity based on total enrollments. The table below lists the plans top four providers for 2023, all of which have at least some $0 premium options. Most are PPOs, but an HMO option is also available. Top Medicare Advantage providers are listed by enrollment figures, costs and plan offerings to clarify the contrast between them. Beneficiaries and their families can visit for more information. 



Medicare Star Rating

Monthly Cost Range

Plan Types




$0 – $105





$0 – $25


Wellmark Advantage Health Plan



$0 – $69


BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee



$0 – $0


How Medicare Advantage Plans Work in South Dakota

Before choosing a plan, it’s crucial to understand what types of plans are available in South Dakota and how they differ from each other. The four main types of Medicare Advantage plans in South Dakota are Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) and Special Needs Plans (SNP). While they all offer the same basic services, plans differ when it comes to factors such as eligibility requirements, out-of-pocket costs and physician referrals.

Seniors can use the table below to compare and contrast the main types of Medicare Advantage plans. 

Medicare Advantage Plan Types Graphic

What Medicare Advantage Plans Cover in South Dakota

By default, Medicare Advantage plans cover all of the same services as Medicare Parts A and B, except for hospice care. They also usually provide prescription drug coverage, which Original Medicare does not include, along with additional coverage for dental, vision, hearing aids and wellness programs. The table below shows what types of services Medicare Advantage covers versus those Original Medicare covers. 

Coverage Available With Medicare Parts A & B?

Coverage Available With Medicare Advantage?

Preventive Screenings



Hospital Care



Durable Medical Equipment



Prescription Drugs



Vision Care



Dental Care



Hearing Aids



*Select plans offer this coverage

** Most plans offer this coverage

Eligibility for Medicare Advantage in South Dakota

All South Dakota residents aged 65 and older and younger residents with specific qualifying disabilities are eligible for Medicare Advantage. Before a qualified beneficiary can enroll in Medicare Advantage, they must enroll in Original Medicare. They must also live within a plan’s service area and be a U.S. citizen or lawful immigrant. Some Medicare Advantage plans have additional eligibility requirements. For example, Medicare Special Needs Plans (SNP) are only available to people living with specific diseases or chronic conditions. 

Seniors and adults with qualifying disabilities can only enroll in Medicare Advantage during specific enrollment periods. Enrolling in a new plan or changing coverage is generally not allowed outside of enrollment periods, but Medicare makes limited exceptions for specific life events. South Dakota citizens should keep the following Medicare Advantage enrollment periods in mind. 

  • Initial Coverage Election Period: This is the initial 7-month period, coinciding with one’s 65th birthday, during which everyone is eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Annual Election Period (AEP): Also referred to as the Open Enrollment Period, this the time of year when anyone over 65 can enroll in Medicare Advantage for the first time or change to a new plan.
  • Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: During this period, those who are already enrolled in Medicare Advantage can switch to a different plan or switch back to Original Medicare.

Start Date

End Date

Initial Coverage Election

3 Months Before One’s
65th Birth Month

3 Months After One’s
65th Birth Month

Annual Election Period

October 15th

December 7th

Medicare Advantage Open
Enrollment Period

January 1st

March 31st

Additionally, Medicare Advantage plan participants can change their plan outside of these enrollment periods under certain qualifying circumstances, such as moving to a new state.

How to Find & Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan in South Dakota

Navigating the many intricacies of Medicare Advantage plan types, insurers, and the specific plan options available by region can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Below are several resources we’ve created to help you through the process.

First is a downloadable PDF that you can use as a guide to help you compare plans as you research. Finally, we have listed a number of organizations that you can contact with experts that will help you determine whether Medicare Advantage is right for you and what plans you should consider.

Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan

State-Wide Medicare Advantage Resources

Senior Health Information & Insurance Education (SHIINE)

SHIINE is a federally funded, state-run program whose mission is to provide confidential, free and unbiased information to Medicare beneficiaries. The program provides access to hundreds of committed volunteer counselors across South Dakota, drawn from the ranks of retirees and working professionals from Medicare-related fields (including nursing home staff, pharmacists and social workers). These counselors work one-on-one with individuals to educate them about Medicare, showing them how to find and protect the benefits they’re entitled to, how to avoid fraud and safeguard their personal information. 

Contact Info

Contact SHIINE through any of its Regional Coordinators to find out more about the program and how to make an appointment with a volunteer counselor. The Eastern South Dakota office can be reached toll free at 1-800-536-8197, the Central South Dakota office at 1-877-331-4834 and the Western South Dakota office at 1-877-286-9072. Further contact information can be found on the program’s website, as well as links to other resources.

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South Dakota Department of Social Services 

South Dakota’s Department of Social Services (DSS) offers an array of social service resources that includes providing information and enrollment for Medicaid, information on Medicare prescription drug coverage and links to plan-finding portals and further avenues of support. The department’s website is an excellent starting point for finding information about a wide range of health care needs, including information about Medicare savings programs.

Contact Info

The DSS provides an online contact form on its website, along with a staff directory and directories for its local offices throughout the state. Its Medical Services line can be reached at 605-773-3495. 

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South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs

The South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs provides a wide range of support for veterans and their families, touching on everything from health care to disability benefits and long-term care. Each county in the state provides a dedicated Veterans Service Officer to offer guidance and counseling for veterans, helping them to navigate issues like medical benefits, including programs such as Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

Contact Info

A comprehensive directory of Veterans Service Officers in South Dakota can be found on the Department’s website. General inquiries can be directed to the department’s toll-free line at 1-877-579-0015.

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Local Medicare Advantage Resources

Dakota at Home

Dakota at Home, operating under the oversight of the South Dakota Department of Human Services, is the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). The agency provides information and referrals to resources and services that are available to South Dakota seniors in the local area where they live. Dakota at Home also provides options counseling and information about services and assistance available through Medicare. 

Contact Info

Seniors can access information by clicking on their county on Dakota at Home’s interactive map and scrolling down a list of providers and organizations available to assist seniors in that locale. Seniors who prefer to talk to someone on the phone in their local area can call Dakota at Home toll free at 1-833-663-9673.

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