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Paying for Needed Services

Families of individuals with disabilities and health care needs often face higher health care costs. This section contains information that might assist families in finding support in meeting the financial challenges related to a disability or long-term health care need.

a family standing under an umbrella in the rain.

Insurance & Health Related Programs

Children's Health Insurance Program

Children’s Health Insurance Program

South Dakota Department of Social Services
(877) 999-5612

The South Dakota Children’s Health Insurance Program, more commonly referred to as CHIP, provides quality health care (including regular check-ups, Well-Child Care exams, dental and vision care) for children and youth.

South Dakota Division of Insurance

South Dakota Division of Insurance

South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation

(605) 773-3563
Consumer information and protection. Find agencies licensed to sell insurance in South Dakota, help for insurance issues.

Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities

Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD)

South Dakota Department of Social Services

(877) 899-5612

The South Dakota Medicaid for Workers with Disabilities program is for South Dakotans who are employed and have a significant disability. This program allows individuals with disabilities to return to work or remain working.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Children

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Social Security Administration
800-772-1213 or TTY: (800) 325-0778
SSI is a Federal income supplement program designed to help children who are blind or disabled under the age of 18. In South Dakota, SSI beneficiaries also receive medical assistance (Medicaid).


South Dakota Medicaid

South Dakota Department of Social Services
(877) 999-5612 (Eligibility)
(800) 597-1603 (Claims)

Medicaid provides health care (including regular check-ups, well-child exams, dental and vision care) for low income children and youth.

South Dakota Medicaid is a federal and state-funded program providing health coverage for people who meet certain eligibility standards. Medicaid acts as an insurance company for individuals and pays for medically necessary services.

Family Support 360 Program

Family Support 360 Program

South Dakota Department of Human Services

Family Support 360 serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This program assists participants and their families in self-directing the services they need to live as independently as possible in the community. There is a pool of flexible funds that can be utilized to purchase services for supports not otherwise available and to assist participants with extraordinary expenses.
(800) 318-2596 or TTY: (855) 889-4325
Information on Health Insurance Marketplace plans. Learn more about how to purchase health insurance that complies with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, where you can choose from a range of government-regulated and standardized health care plans offered by the insurers participating in the exchange. Enroll in an insurance plan online or by phone.

Disabled Children's Program

Disabled Children’s Program

South Dakota Department of Social Services
(877) 899-5612 or (605) 773-4678
The Disabled Children’s Program provides South Dakota Medicaid for certain disabled children in South Dakota. The program is intended for children with disabilities who have medically fragile conditions requiring skilled nursing care in a medical facility if they were not being cared for at home.

Cochlear Implant Program

Cochlear Implant Program

South Dakota Department of Human Services
(800) 265-9684 or (605) 773-4644
This program is designed to provide financial assistance to an eligible individual who is uninsured or to help offset the deductible or coinsurance for an individual with an insurance plan that covers cochlear implants. The program provides funding for the cost of the implant surgery for one ear or both ears, one or two implant devices, surgeon fee, hospital fee, the initial mapping and up to a maximum of 12 follow up mappings within one year post surgery.

Telecommunication Equipment

Telecommunication Equipment Distribution (TED)

Relay South Dakota

(877) 866-8950

This program puts phones into the hands of those with hearing loss or speech disabilities. Contact them to find out if you qualify for a free phone.

Hearing Aid Assistance Program (HAAP)

Hearing Aid Assistance Program (HAAP)

South Dakota Department of Human Services

HAAP will help with the cost of hearing aid(s) and associated ear mold(s) for South Dakota children, younger than 19, with progressive or permanent hearing loss who would benefit from hearing aid(s).

Supported Employment Services
(800) 265-9684 or (605) 773-3195
Supported employment is when an individual with the most severe disabilities is working in the community alongside individuals who do not have disabilities. Supported employment is receiving the training at the job site and having available the necessary ongoing supports to help maintain the employment.

South Dakota QuitLine

South Dakota QuitLine

South Dakota Department of Health
866-SD-QUITS (866) 737-8487
Free access to online quit tools, support from other tobacco users who are trying to quit, and other information to make your quit attempt easier. Enrollment with the South Dakota QuitLine for telephone quit coach support is available and free medication is available with the telephone program.

Basic Living Needs

Child Safety Car Seat Distribution Program

Child Safety Seat Distribution Program

South Dakota Department of Social Services
(800) 227-3020 or (605) 227-4766
Provides car seats and booster seats to income eligible families across South Dakota. Specialized car seats for children with special health care needs provided with no family income guidelines. Specialized seats may also be available for short-term loan at no cost.

Community Action Partnerships

Community Action Partnerships

South Dakota Department of Social Services
(877) 899-5612 or (605) 773-4678

Community Action Agencies (CAA) help low-income people. CAAs help with Head Start programs, home weatherization, job training, housing, housing repair/rehab, food bank, energy assistance, senior services, some transportation, and many other programs.

Economic Assistance Programs

Economic Assistance

South Dakota Department of Social Services
(877) 999-5612 or (605) 773-3165
Economic Assistance programs help low income individuals, families, children, pregnant women, people with disabilities and the elderly by providing medical, nutritional, financial, and case management services.

Governor's House Program

Governor’s House Program

South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SD Housing)
(605) 773-3181
The Governor’s House Program was created to provide reasonable sized, affordable homes to income qualified individuals and families which include elderly and persons with disabilities.

DakotaLink Assistive Technology Loan Fund

This program offers low-interest, extended term loans to enable individuals with disabilities in South Dakota a financing option specifically designed to purchase assistive technology equipment and devices, home access improvements or vehicle access modifications.

Low Income Energy Assistance

Low Income Energy Assistance

South Dakota Department of Social Services
(800) 233-8503 or (800) 325-0778 (TTY)
Energy Assistance helps low-income South Dakotans pay for home heating costs. Keep in mind, energy assistance may not pay for all of your home heating cost.

Helpline Center Basic Needs Resource Directory

Helpline Center Basic Needs Resource Directory

The Helpline Center produces resource guides in cooperation with local funding partners. The guides do not contain all of the programs found in the 211 Resource Database but do provide a starting point for resource information in certain communities. Directories available for these areas:

  • Sioux Empire
  • Black Hills
  • Brookings
  • Aberdeen
Telephone Assistance


South Dakota Public Utilities Commission

(605) 773-3201
Lifeline helps consumers who already have telephone service save on their monthly phone bill. This discount applies to basic local telephone service on one line per household.


Tribal Lifeline and Tribal Link Up

South Dakota Public Utilities Commission

(605) 773-3201 

Residents of tribal lands may apply for Enhanced Lifeline and Link-Up that offer a different discount structure. All programs have eligibility requirements. Lifeline and Link-Up are ongoing programs and applications are accepted year-round.

Affordable Connectivity

Affordable Connectivity Program

South Dakota Public Utilities Commission

(605) 773-3201

The Affordable Connectivity Program provides a monthly discount on internet services for eligible households and a one-time discount on the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. Applicants must meet certain requirements to be eligible for this program.


Free Accessibility Home Repairs

Repair Affair

Sioux Empire Home Builders Care Foundation

City of Sioux Falls

Independent Living Choices
(605) 361-8322

Annual program with volunteers doing repairs one day per year.

Medication Assistance

Cancer Care Co-Payment Assistance Foundation


Helps insured people afford co-payments for chemotherapy and targeted drugs for certain covered conditions. Must meet financial, medical, and insurance criteria. 

Drug Discount Cards

Drug discount cards are not insurance. They are used to lower the cost of prescriptions and/or over the counter medications when the user does not have or chooses not to use insurance. Some discount cards can be used by multiple family members, others are for use by one specific individual.

Your RX Card
866- 561-1926
You can save up to 75% off on all FDA approved drugs at 57,000 pharmacies nationwide. This free prescription drug card program is being produced to help all Americans cut their prescription drug costs. 

NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card
The free NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card can help you save up to 80% off the price of your prescription medications.

Community Assistance Program Prescription Drug Discount Card


The Community Assistance Program (CAP) discount prescription card was established in response to the many requests for assistance for the uninsured and underinsured with their prescription needs. The CAP card saves the cardholder an average 15% on brand name medications, and 55% on generic medications. The discount prescription cards are accepted at over 80% of pharmacies in the US and its territories, including Puerto Rico. Anyone can use the CAP card, regardless of age or income. Our discount prescription card can allow someone to fill a prescription when they may normally go without.

South Dakota RX Card
As a resident of South Dakota, you and your family have access to a statewide Prescription Assistance Program (PAP). This pharmacy coupon card will provide you with RX medication savings of up to 75% at more than 68,000 pharmacies across the country including: CVS (Target), Walgreens, Walmart, Safeway, Kmart, Shopko, Albertsons and many more.

Good Days
Helps qualified patients pay their insurance co-pays for prescription medications. Assistance to help with cost of insurance premiums for qualified diagnosis. Transportation, lodging and related expenses for covered conditions.  Patients must meet financial and other program specific criteria to be eligible for assistance.

Who Can Apply?

  • Patients diagnosed with a covered disease and the program must be accepting enrollments
  • Patients with a valid Social Security
  • Patients seeking assistance for a prescribed medication that is FDA approved to treat the covered diagnosis
  • Patients who have valid insurance coverage
  • Patients with income level at or below 500% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

What Do I Need to Apply?

  • Patient contact and demographic information
  • Health insurance information
  • Diagnosis and medication
  • Prescribing physician’s name and phone number
  • Estimate of patient’s household income and household size

How Do I Apply?

NORD Patient Assistance Programs
NORD administers Patient Assistance Programs to help patients obtain life-saving or life-sustaining medication they could not otherwise afford. NORD has expanded its services to offer financial assistance with insurance premiums, patient co-pay fees, diagnostic testing expenses, and travel to and consultation with disease specialists that are not covered by a patient’s insurance plan.

How to Apply?  You need to locate the program by disease. Then follow the related contact information. If you do not see a patient assistance program listed that meets your specific need, please contact them at 1-800-999-6673.  They are available Monday-Thursday 8:30 am – 7:00 pm EST, Friday 8:30 am – 6:00 pm EST.

Si deseas hablar con alguien en Espanol por favor llame al (844) 259-7178 para asistencia.

Patient Access Network Foundation (PAN)

Provides insured patients with co-payment assistance for treatments and medications through nearly 60 disease-specific programs”.

Financial assistance is offered for out-of-pocket medication costs, including co-pays, health insurance premiums and transportation costs associated with treatment.


Medical Assistance Tool (MAT)

 MAT gives patients, loved ones and health care providers a single point of access to hundreds of public and private assistance programs, as well as connecting them with more transparent information about the cost of medicine.

Pfizer RXPathways
844-989-7284 (English and Spanish)
A comprehensive assistance program that provides eligible patients with a range of support services, including insurance counseling, co-pay assistance, and access to medicines for free or at a savings.


Rx Hope
RxHope helps people in obtaining medications that they would normally have trouble affording. They act as an advocate in making the patient assistance program journey easier and faster by supplying vital information and help. 


Patient Travel & Lodging

Air Care Alliance

Extensive listing of free air transport services provided by volunteer pilots and dozens of charitable aviation groups. If you are seeking free air transportation or aviation services you can send an inquiry to each appropriate organization in one easy step by providing us the necessary information about your transportation needs.

Mercy Medical Angels
Mercy Medical Angels has been providing free transportation to medical care since 1972. On the ground with gas cards, bus and train tickets and in the air with trips flown by volunteer pilots and the commercial airlines Mercy Medical Angels ensures that no one in need is denied medical care because they don’t have transportation. To request assistance:

Angel Flight Central

Angel Flight Central
Angel Flight arranges free air transportation to medical treatment for individuals and organizations when financial need or time-critical but non-emergency medical situations arise.

Requesting an Angel Flight Central:

  • Verify that the patient’s home or treating facility are located in Oklahoma or surrounding states. If you are seeking a flight outside our service region, please check our locator page to locate a Public Benefit Flying Organization in your area.
  • Review the Patient Guidelines to verify qualifications.
  • Please complete the Online Flight Request.

The Angel Flight Central staff will review your request and follow up with you to complete any additional requirements.

Corporate Angel Network
Corporate Angel Network is the only charitable organization whose sole mission is to fly cancer patients (both children and adults) to treatment at no cost to them on empty seats on both private and corporate planes. Eligibility to participate in our program is open to all cancer patients, bone marrow donors, and bone marrow recipients who are ambulatory and not in need of medical support while traveling. Eligibility is not based on financial need, and patients may travel as often as necessary.  Please fill out the Client Registration form.

Joe's House
877-563-7468 (patients only)
Joe’s House helps cancer patients and their families find a place to stay when traveling away from home for medical treatment.

Healthcare Hospitality Network
Healthcare Hospitality Network is a nationwide professional association of nearly 200 unique, non profit organizations that provide lodging and support services to patients, families and their loved ones who are receiving medical treatment far from their home communities.

Ronald McDonald House
Sioux Falls
The Ronald McDonald House program provides a “home-away-from-home” for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost. This program is world-wide. The generosity of volunteers and donors make it all possible. In return, families either stay at no cost or are asked to make a donation of up to $25 per day, depending on the House. The RMHC Global Policy is that families are never turned away;  it’s not possible to pay, the fee is waived.

Private Foundations

Avera Foundation
Sioux Falls
Families using any Avera service may apply for assistance through the statewide Avera Foundation which supports needed services, provides life-saving medications, lodging to be near loved ones, transportation and many needed educational programs and materials. The cases are assessed on a case to case basis. It is a one-time approval. Request information from an Avera Social Worker.

Children's Miracle Network (CMN)

Children’s Miracle Network – Sanford Health Foundation


Children who receive care the the Sanford Children’s Castle, inpatient or outpatient, can receive up to $500 per year in assistance, CMN can help with expenses related to travel to receive care such as lodging assistance, meal allowance, and mileage.  CMN can also assist with expenses for medically necessary from the hospital and prevent readmission. 


Pediatric Emergency Fund,  Monument Health Foundation


The Pediatric Emergency Fund is used to pay transportation costs up to $600 per patient family per year for Monument Health pediatric patients who require a special service that is not offered Monument Health, or assists incoming patient travel. Families who need travel funds to access care can contact their child’s primary Monument Health Foundation for assistance. 

Cerner Charitable Foundation
Oracle Health Foundation will continue its work providing pediatric case grants for medicine, surgeries, travel, and equipment; wellness screenings to elementary school students; social emotional support and education initiatives to middle school students; health education to high school students; and much more. 

Golden Halo Foundation

Golden Halo Foundation
The Golden Halo Foundation provides financial assistance, in the way of grants, to help those children with medical conditions that require specialized care. The financial assistance is to help seek medical treatment, diagnostic evaluations, durable medical equipment and expenses related to securing medical care. The Foundation currently serves families in the Midwest region.

Documents Needed:

  • Completed application form.
  • Letter(s) from physician and/or PT, OT or SLP that includes recommendation for request and benefits of the request for the child.
  • Official receipts/invoice/estimate on procedure or equipment requested, if discount is available, and name and address of third party who will receive payment.
  • Letter of denial from insurance or Medicaid, if applicable.
  • Completed HIPAA Authorization Form.
  • Child’s photo.
  • Completed Photo Consent Form.
HealthWell Foundation Grants

HealthWell Foundation Grants (English and Spanish)
The HealthWell Foundation is committed to addressing the needs of individuals with insurance who cannot afford their co-payments, coinsurance, and premiums for important medical treatments. Their vision is to ensure that no patient goes without health care because they cannot afford it.

Assistance Qualifications:

  • You are being treated for a disease that we currently cover.
  • You have insurance and it covers your medication. You must have some form of health insurance that covers part of the cost of your treatment.
  • Your income falls within our guidelines.
  • You are receiving treatment in the United States.


  • If you are the person with the diagnosis or a family member, parent, guardian, friend, or power of attorney of the patient then start the application process.
  • If you are a health care provider, staff from a provider’s office, a pharmacy representative, or social worker, you can apply on behalf of your patient using our Provider Portal or Pharmacy Portal.

American Optometric Association optometrist provide a comprehensive eye and vision assessments for infants within the first year of life regardless of a family’s income or access to insurance coverage. Assessments at six to twelve months of age can determine healthy development of vision. Click on Find A DOCTOR to find local care online.

Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana
Make-a-Wish grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.

Who Is Eligible? A child with a life-threatening medical condition who has reached the age of 2 ½ and is younger than 18 at the time of referral is potentially eligible for a wish and has not received a wish from another wish-granting organization.

Who Can Refer a Child? Out of respect for the privacy of the children and families we serve, children who may be eligible to receive a wish can be referred by one of four sources:

  • Medical professionals (typically a doctor, nurse, social worker, or child-life specialist).
  • Parents/legal guardians.
  • Children being treated  for a critical illness.
  • Family members with detailed knowledge of the child’s current medical condition.

They will only contact you after a wish referral has been submitted by an approved source.

If you are not eligible to refer a child, please share the referral inquiry form with the family or ask them to visit our website.

Meyer Dana Smile Foundation

Meyer Dana Smile Foundation
220 Ryan Road
Spearfish, SD 57783
Meyer Dana Smile Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was created to help individuals who are not able to afford orthodontic care have the opportunity to get the smile they’ve always wanted. Recipients are chosen by a local board of directors. 

Smile for a Lifetime

Smile for a Lifetime

Smile for a Lifetime is an international program that provides orthodontic care to disadvantaged children and young adults who normally would not be able to afford treatment. Smile for a Lifetime does not charge for the orthodontic treatment – participating orthodontists and orthodontic manufacturing companies provide FREE services, including the cost of one set of retainers. The only cost a family will incur is an initial $500 investment/application fee to help cover the cost of the program. 

Sunshyne Smiles Orthodontic Assistance Program, South Dakota Dental Foundation
The Sunshyne Smiles Program is a statewide program that helps provide orthodontic treatment to deserving South Dakota children who may not otherwise receive care.


  • Children are accepted to the program through a referral from a general dentist.
  • Eligibility is determined based on the severity of the child’s orthodontic needs and their family’s financial situation.
  • Participating families are to contribute $25 per month to the program for their child’s orthodontic treatments of the course of 40 months.
  • Parent/guardian is to complete an application.
The HIKE Fund, Inc.

The HIKE Fund, Inc.

The Hearing Improvement Kids Endowment Fund provides hearing devices for children with hearing losses between the ages of newborn and 20.

How to Apply? Download application and refer to instructions.

Documentation Needed:

  • A letter from the parent(s) or guardian(s) explaining the financial need.
  • Statement of Income and Expenses.
  • A copy of last year’s Federal Income Tax Return 1040 pages 1 & 2 and the most recent pay stub(s) from each wage earner (parents and/or guardians only).
  • A recent (not more than twelve (12) months old) audiogram AND quote from a licensed and/or certified audiologist and/or physician.
  • An itemized cost quotation from the supplier which should include cost of hearing aid(s) or device(s), cost of ear mold(s), professional fees (evaluation, fitting/dispensing fee, follow up visits, repairs/warranty per year, batteries, and insurance – loss or damage). Please give your supplier the portion of this application entitled, “Information for Supplier”.
  • Please emphasize to your child’s supplier that it is important to provide an address and telephone number in the space provided on the application form. 
United Healthcare Children's Foundation

United Healthcare Children’s Foundation
The mission of UHCCF is to provide medical grants to enhance the quality of life of children across the United States. Purpose: The United Healthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) offers timely financial support to families so they can focus on what is most important – enhancing the quality of life of their child. UHCCF grants help with medical expenses not covered, or not fully covered, by a family’s commercial health insurance. 

Service Organizations

Kiwanis International

Minnesota-Dakota District Kiwanis Office (Multilingual)
Kiwanis is a global organization of member-volunteers who are dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. 

Lions Club International

Lions Club International (Multilingual)
The Lions Club is an international service organization that focuses on programs and projects that serve the blind or visually impaired or aim to eliminate preventable and reversible blindness. They also participate in other health programs and projects such as hearing and diabetes. Click on Club Locator to find a local club.

Lions Club International

Lions Club International (Multilingual)
The Lions Club is an international service organization that focuses on programs and projects that serve the blind or visually impaired or aim to eliminate preventable and reversible blindness. They also participate in other health programs and projects such as hearing and diabetes. Click on Club Locator to find a local club.

Optimist International
Optimist Clubs are dedicated to “bringing out the best in kids” and do their part through community service programs. Optimist’s have the flexibility to serve the youth of their area as they determine what is needed. 

Realtors for Kids

Assists children in the Northern Hills communities that are victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment; have either a temporary or ongoing medical condition that requires money beyond what the child’s primary caregivers can provide; wish to participate in school and community programs and do not have the funds to do so. A referral request may be initiated by a school counselor, a counselor for the Department of Social Services, a CASA volunteer, or a member of the REALTOR® Association.

Sioux Falls
RFK is committed to helping children throughout the Sioux Empire (all communities in Minnehaha, Lincoln, Lake, McCook, and Turner Counties) by providing financial support for fees associated with school and community activities, as well as other costs associated with improving their quality of life. RFK will help with travel expenses of getting a child to and from medical treatment. RFK does not accept requests directly from the parents of the child needing assistance. Requests will be accepted from referral agencies such as medical clinics, schools, social services, CASA or other child-related agencies, our members, and community members who know of a child in need. 

Rotary International
Rotary’s main objective is service: in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Click on Club Finder to find a local club.

Sertoma’ s primary focus is on assisting people with hearing health issues and educating the public on the issues surrounding hearing health. Sertoma also sponsors community projects to assist youth and to benefit a variety of other local community needs, as identified by the individual clubs. Click on Find a Club to find a local club.

Featured Resource

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Check out our most recent publication, “Understanding School Testing and Test Scores” created to help parents better understand the data included in their child’s evaluation so they can best advocate for their needs.

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