Medicare Maryland provides health care insurance to people age 65 and older, as well as those with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
If you’re approaching age 65 and getting ready to retire, or you just want to reevaluate your current Medicare coverage. Read on to learn about Medicare plans and coverage in your state.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on Medicare trends in Maryland for the 2021 plan year:
- A total of 1,056,436 residents of Maryland are enrolled in Medicare.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium decreased in Maryland compared to last year — from $51.12 in 2020 to $48.14 in 2021.
- There are 41 Medicare Advantage plans available in Maryland for 2021, compared to 31 plans in 2020.
- All Maryland residents with Medicare have access to buy a Medicare Advantage plan, including plans with $0 premiums.
- There are 12 different Medigap plans offered in Maryland for 2021.
Medicare Maryland is a federal health insurance program that provides coverage to people age 65 and over, as well as individuals with certain disabilities, across the state. You can use Medicare as your only health insurance or use Medicare as a supplemental plan for additional coverage.
These are the available types of Medicare plans in Maryland.
- inpatient and outpatient hospital care
- short-term skilled nursing care
- limited in-home healthcare
- lab tests
- doctor’s appointments
- medical equipment, such as wheelchairs
- basic preventive services, like disease screenings and vaccines
Medicare Advantage in Maryland
Medicare Advantage (Part C) covers the same services as original Medicare, and sometimes prescription drugs, all under one plan. Some plans will also include coverage for other health services such as hearing exams and devices, vision services, and dental needs.
Advantage plans may also provide coverage for additional healthcare services, such as fitness classes or wellness programs.
There are many different Medicare Advantage plans available in Maryland, each with a unique set of coverage options, drug plans, and premiums.
Insurance carriers offering Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland include:
- Aetna Medicare
- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Medicare Advantage
- Johns Hopkins HealthCare
- Kaiser Permanente
- Lasso Healthcare
Not all plans are available in every county, so make sure you’re searching for plans offered in your region by entering your ZIP code.
Medicare supplement plans in Maryland
Original Medicare doesn’t pay for all of your healthcare costs. To cover these costs, you may decide to buy Medicare supplement insurance, also called Medigap. These policies can help you pay for deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
Many companies offer Medigap plans in Maryland. In 2021, some of the companies offering Medigap plans throughout the state include:
Medicare plans in Maryland are available to people over age 65, as well as to adults with certain disabilities or chronic diseases.
You’ll be able to enroll for Medicare plans in Maryland if you meet the eligibility criteria:
- you’re 65 years old or older
- you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- you qualify for Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits
When can I enroll in Medicare Maryland plans?
If you qualify for Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you’ll likely be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you meet the eligibility criteria.
If you’re not automatically enrolled in original Medicare, your first opportunity to enroll in Medicare is during the initial enrollment period. This initial enrollment period starts 3 months before your birth month and ends 3 months after, giving you time to research coverage options and find a plan that matches your needs.
Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland change every year, so you may want to reevaluate your coverage once per year. You’ll have two opportunities per year to switch between plans and find the coverage that’s best suited to your needs.
Has your employment status recently changed? If you are no longer receiving employee benefits, or have recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness, you can ask for a special enrollment period to enroll in Medicare Maryland and receive coverage right away.
Tips for enrolling in Medicare in Maryland
With so many Medicare plans in Maryland, it’s important to do your research in order to find the right plan for your healthcare needs. The following tips can help you narrow your choices:
1. Calculate your current healthcare costs
Include all current health insurance premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, and the services you accessed that were outside of your coverage. Look for a plan that will cover all these expenses, or as many of them as possible, to lower your out-of-pocket costs and make it easier for you to access quality care.
2. Call your doctor’s office
Did you know that private health insurance providers only work with network-approved doctors? If you’re considering a Medicare Advantage plan, ask your doctor what plans they accept, and make sure your consultations and appointments will be covered by your new plan.
3. Read reviews of the plans you’re considering
You can access the Medicare star ratings to find out what other people think of each plan. The plans are rated on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score. Plans with a high score are known to deliver excellent care as well as great support to plan members.
Access these resources if you have questions about Medicare plans in Maryland or need help enrolling in Medicare.
- Medicare (800-633-4227). You can contact Medicare directly to get more answers, compare plans, and find out more about Medicare coverage.
- Maryland Health Care Commission (410-764-3460). Find out more about federal and private Medicare plans and get advice on planning for long-term care or home care options.
- Maryland Department of Aging (800-243-3425). The Maryland Department of Aging can provide information on health insurance, the SHIP program for counseling and assistance, community wellness connections, and senior center services.
- More than 1 million Maryland residents are enrolled in Medicare.
- There are several private insurance companies offering various types of Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans throughout the state.
- Overall, monthly premium costs have decreased for 2021 Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland.
- There are also several Medigap plan options if you live in Maryland and are looking for additional coverage.