Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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January 27, 2006
Gov. Rounds extends transition from Medicaid to Medicare Part D date to February 15

PIERRE, S.D. - Effective Friday, January 27, 2006, Gov. Mike Rounds is extending the amount of time that South Dakota will help seniors and people with disabilities that are transitioning from Medicaid to Medicare Part D program, obtain emergency medications until February 15, 2006.

"There are still some South Dakotans who need our help in obtaining their emergency medications due to the fact that the transition from Medicaid to Medicare Part D is still not functioning properly. That is why we will continue to help dual eligible - Medicare/Medicaid recipients with payment costs through February 15, 2006," said Department of Social Services (DSS) Secretary Deborah Bowman.

The federal government announced Tuesday that they would agree to help repay states through February 15 that stepped into buy emergency medications for seniors whose coverage failed under the Medicare prescription drug plan. South Dakota has spent an estimated $45,000 on prescription drug medications since January 9, 2006, when Gov. Rounds authorized payment for a 30-day supply of emergency medications.

The DSS staff continue to work with the state's pharmacies to assist citizens who are encountering problems with obtaining their prescription drugs.