Medicare plays a key role in providing health and financial security to beneficiaries residing in Maryland. With more than a million Maryland beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, we’ll cover some very important information below about Medicare in Maryland. We want to help you better understand your options and make the decision-process as seamless as possible once you’re ready to enroll in Medicare or discover different coverage options.

Who Qualifies for Medicare in Maryland?

Medicare covers most Maryland residents who are 65 or older, and it also covers disabled Maryland residents. In general, Medicare enrollment in Maryland works the same way as it does in the rest of the country. If you qualify for Original Medicare, also known as Part A and Part B, it will help cover 80% of your health care costs.

When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. If you’re eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that:

  • Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • Includes the month you turn 65
  • Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65

In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty. You’ll be responsible for paying this penalty for as long as you have Part B, and you could have a gap in your health coverage.

Once you reach Medicare eligibility, you can begin choosing additional coverage options to help pay for the remaining 20% of your medical expenses through Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medigap, and/or a Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) plan.

Who Qualifies for Medicare

Maryland Medicare Enrollments

915,563

Original Medicare Plans
(Part A and B)

136,357

Medicare Advantage & Other Health Plans

549,350

Stand-alone Medicare
Part D (Drug plans)

1,051,920

Total Medicare Beneficiaries
in Maryland

Maryland Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)

Only 12% of Maryland Medicare beneficiaries select Medicare Advantage plans. Most beneficiaries are enrolled in Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage plans are private, Medicare-approved insurance companies. They provide all of your Original Medicare benefits and often include extra benefits such as drug, dental, and vision coverage.

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1 to March 31. During this period, Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland who already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or drop their Medicare Advantage plan and enroll in Original Medicare.

As of 2020, 31 Medicare Advantage plans are available in Maryland. The average monthly Medicare Advantage premium is $53.12 in 2020. $0 is the lowest monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan in Maryland.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as of May 2020, there are 136,357 beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage and other plans in Maryland. Only 12% of Maryland Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a private Medicare Advantage plan in 2019. 100% of people with Medicare have access to a Medicare Advantage plan.

Maryland Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance Plans

Maryland law ensures access to Medigap Plans A and C for enrollees under age 65.

Medigap plans are used to supplement Original Medicare, covering some or all of the out-of-pocket costs (for coinsurance and deductibles) that beneficiaries would otherwise incur if they only had Original Medicare on its own. Typically, Medigap plans are popular for those who want little to no copay when they access healthcare services.

Maryland Medigap insurance is available to everyone with Medicare in the state, including those who are under 65 and are enrolled in Medicare. Often, Medigap plans in Maryland can be more expensive if you don’t enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period and wait for an Annual Open Enrollment Period. 

There are two initial times to enroll in a Medigap plan before and after you turn 65:

  • 6 months prior to turning 65
  • Once you turn 65, your 6 month period begins the month you enroll in Part B.

During this period, an insurance company can’t use medical underwriting. 

As of 2020, there are 49 insurers that offer Medigap plans in Maryland. Maryland is among the majority of states that guarantee at least some access to Medigap plans for enrollees who are under the age of 65. Medigap insurers in Maryland are required to offer Plan A and Plan C to enrollees who are under the age of 65 on a guaranteed-issue basis if the enrollee applies for the Medigap plan within six months of enrolling in Medicare Part B. The requirement is a result of Maryland S.B.48, which took effect in 2017.

Maryland Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)

Original Medicare doesn’t cover outpatient prescription drugs. However, Medicare beneficiaries can get prescription coverage via a Medicare Advantage plan, an employer-sponsored plan (offered by a current or former employer), or a stand-alone Part D plan. Medigap plans don’t cover prescription drugs unless they’re covered under Part B.

As of 2020, There are 549,350 Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland enrolled in stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans and 112,752 enrolled in Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans. For 2020 coverage, there are 27 stand-alone Part D plans available in Maryland, with premiums ranging from about $14 to $97 per month. About 29% of people with a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan get Extra Help (also called the low-income subsidy, or LIS).

When deciding on a Part D plan, it’s important to evaluate several factors such as each plan’s premium, formulary, and copays since every plan is different. Learn how you can save money on your out-of-pocket costs with a Medicare Advantage, Part D, or Medigap plan, fill out this form or give us a call.

Local Medicare Health Plan Resources in Maryland

  • Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP): The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) meets the most universal needs of Medicare beneficiaries. Needs such as understanding their health insurance benefits, bills, and rights. Trained staff and volunteer counselors in all 23 counties and Baltimore City provide in-person and telephone assistance.
    Contact: Call 1-800-243-3425 or reach out to a local counselor directly by finding their phone number here.

  • Maryland Department of Aging: The Maryland Department of Aging helps establish Maryland as an attractive location for all older adults through vibrant communities and supportive services that offer the opportunity to live healthy and meaningful lives.
    Contact: Call 410-767-1100, 800-243-3425, or visit the office at 301 West Preston Street, Suite 1007, Baltimore, Maryland 21201.
    Maryland’s Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP): SMP is an anti-health care fraud project administered by the Maryland Department of Aging through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration on Aging. The mission of Maryland SMP is to develop a program that enlists senior volunteers to teach Medicare and Medicaid clients how to recognize and report health care fraud, waste, abuse, or error.
    Contact: Call 1-800-243-3425. You can also call the SMP program manager, Rebecca Bradley, at 410-767-2077 or email her at [email protected]​.

  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC), known locally as Maryland Access Point (MAP): MAP was established as the single entry point for individuals seeking long term support services. Maryland’s 20 local MAP sites provide individual, person-centered counseling to consumers seeking information, referral, and program support for long term services. In most cases, the Area Agency on Aging is the lead organization in the MAP structure. MAP partners include local health and social services departments, Centers for Independent Living, behavioral health agencies, and other organizations through which people seek assistance.
    Contact: Call 1-844-627-5465

  • The Anne Arundel County Department Aging and Disabilities offer local seniors a comprehensive list of area resources and programs. The department currently offers 21 programs in 25 locations throughout Anne Arundel County. The Maryland Access Point Customer Service Center can assist in finding the most valuable information in accordance with an individual’s needs. This may include information on Medicare, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, in-home care, and long term care. Trained professionals from the Information & Assistance program are available to help clarify an individual’s specific needs and find the perfect fit.
    Contact: Call 410-222-4257 or visit either of the two locations at 7320 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, MD 21061, and 2666 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD 21401.

The licensed agents that are partnered with Timefor65 can help you compare the availability, benefits, and costs of Medicare plans in your specific region of Maryland. Our process makes it easier for you to access your Medicare eligibility in Maryland so that you receive personalized, affordable, and easy-to-use coverage options and solutions. Fill out the form or give us a call at (866) 327‑0148 anytime to get a free quote or to ask any questions.

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