Medicaid expansion enrollment begins July 1 in South Dakota

(Metro photo)

SIOUX FALLS — Enrollment for South Dakota Medicaid expansion officially begins in South Dakota on July 1, but the South Dakota Department of Social Services began allowing applications for potential participants on June 1.

AARP South Dakota, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association and the Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas are working together to educate individuals and families who may be eligible for Medicaid coverage under expansion about the application and enrollment process.

“As a physician and safety net provider, I have witnessed the transformative power of Medicaid firsthand. It is a lifeline for the most vulnerable among us, allowing them to access the care they desperately need,” said Dr. Jennifer Tinguely, a health care provider at Falls Community Health in Sioux Falls. “Expanding Medicaid is not just about providing health care coverage; it is about instilling hope, preserving dignity, and fostering a healthier society. By expanding Medicaid, we embrace the fundamental principle that everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, deserves a fair chance at a healthy life. It is not just a policy; it is a moral imperative, a testament to our collective responsibility to uplift and heal those who need it most.”

Individuals and families interested in learning more about coverage options can visit There they can connect with a local navigator, a trained and certified individual who can offer free support. Navigators are required to provide fair, impartial and accurate information about health insurance options, including Medicaid. Individuals and families can also call 211, the South Dakota Helpline, for additional information, as well.

“I moved back home to South Dakota, but without Medicaid, I couldn’t keep up with my medical bills,” said Mitchell resident Lisa Thompson. “It’s hard to find a job that will accommodate my physical limitations. I’m enrolling in Medicaid so I can get the consistent, comprehensive and affordable health care I need.”

In November, South Dakota voters approved Constitutional Amendment D by a wide margin, which expanded Medicaid in the state. Amendment D opened Medicaid benefits to any person over 18 and under 65 who earns less than $20,120 per year or a family of four earning less than $41,400 per year. The South Dakota Department of Social Services estimates that roughly 52,000 South Dakotans will be newly eligible for coverage beginning July 1. 

Expansion recipients will have access to a health insurance benefit package that includes ten essential health benefit categories, including:

  • outpatient care
  • emergency services
  • hospitalizations
  • pregnancy (including maternity and newborn care)
  • mental health and substance use disorder services (including behavioral health treatment)
  • prescription drugs
  • rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  • laboratory services
  • preventative services (including wellness services and chronic disease management)
  • pediatric services, including oral and vision care.