Medicare Part D: The Medicare prescription drug benefit program. We call this program “Part D” for short. Medicare Part D covers outpatient prescription drugs, vaccines, and some supplies not covered by Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B or Medical Assistance. Our plan includes Medicare Part D.Medicare Part A: The Medicare program that covers most medically necessary hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health, and hospice care.
Medicare Part B: The Medicare program that covers services (such as lab tests, surgeries, and doctor visits) and supplies (such as wheelchairs and walkers) that are medically necessary to treat a disease or condition. Medicare Part B also covers many preventive and screening services.
Medical Assistance: This is the name of Minnesota’s Medicaid program. Medical Assistance is run by the state and is paid for by the state and the federal government. It helps people with limited incomes and resources pay for long-term services and supports and medical costs.
It covers extra services and some drugs not covered by Medicare. Medicaid programs vary from state to state, but most health care costs are covered if you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Rep. Finstad Visits South Country Health Alliance for Rural Health Care and County-Based Purchasing Discussion

Congressman Brad Finstad pictured with South Country Health Alliance leadership

MEDFORD, Minn., Feb. 20, 2024 – Representative Brad Finstad recently met with South Country Health Alliance leadership staff and several of its board members to discuss rural health care and the importance of county-based purchasing plans like South Country Health Alliance in serving Minnesota Health Care Programs enrollees.

Greg Krueger, Steele County Commissioner and South Country Health Alliance Board Member, helped arrange the meeting. “This meeting was important because of the progress being made between county-based purchasing counties and the Minnesota Department of Human Services to finally develop a County Administered Rural Medical Assistance Program,” Krueger said. “At some point, we made need some assistance at the federal level to complete the process.”

South Country Health Alliance is a county-based purchasing health plan owned by eight rural Minnesota counties that has been serving members since 2001. South Country currently has more than 27,000 members and seven different programs.

“South Country’s commitment to strong partnerships with community services and local health care providers is incredibly important to the health of southern Minnesotans, especially in rural areas,” said U.S. Congressman Brad Finstad (MN-01). “I am grateful for the recent opportunity to meet with their board members to hear firsthand about the importance of county-based purchasing and how we can work together to improve access to affordable, high-quality health care for our rural communities.”

“South Country will continue to be a fierce advocate for health and well-being of rural Minnesotans,” said Leota Lind, South Country’s CEO. “We appreciate Representative Finstad taking time to meet with us to learn more about South Country, county-based purchasing and to discuss health care in rural counties.”