You’re about to turn 65 years old; it’s the perfect time to learn what Medicare coverage provides so far as health care is concerned – whether you’re still working or enjoying your retirement after years of hard work.
Maryland Medicare Insurance Trends
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on 2024 Medicare trends in Maryland:
- There are 1,110,988 Medicare beneficiaries in Maryland.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium decreased slightly from $35.77 in 2023 to $35.50 in 2024.
- As of 2024, there are 64 Medicare Advantage plans available.
- All Maryland Medicare beneficiaries can purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, including those with $0 premiums.
- There are 19 stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans in 2024.
- The lowest monthly premium for a prescription drug plan in 2024 is $0.40 in Maryland.
Medicare Offered in Maryland
Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage for people over 65, although workers with disabilities may be eligible. The state also offers several programs that assist Medicare beneficiaries.
Original Medicare comprises Medicare Part A and Part B. Medicare Part A covers hospital insurance, including inpatient hospital or psychiatric care. Medicare Part B focuses on medical treatments, preventive services such as screenings, and medically necessary durable supplies.
Premiums may be required for both Medicare Part A and Part B, although it is generally not needed for Medicare Part A. Both aspects of Original Medicare also have out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
Medicare Advantage Plans are available from private health insurance carriers, which Medicare has approved. These plans offer additional coverage for services that Original Medicare does not cover. Also, they include all the coverage that both Medicare Part A and Part B offer. In Maryland, approximately 13% of Medicare beneficiaries chose Medicare Advantage in 2020 and the numbers continue to increase.
Maryland Medicare Advantage options typically include plans from the following private insurance companies:
- Aetna Medicare
- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Medicare Advantage
- Johns Hopkins HealthCare
- Kaiser Permanente
- Lasso Healthcare
Medicare Supplement Plans
Other Medicare beneficiaries may choose to purchase supplemental plans, which can add more coverage to what is already contained in Original Medicare. One standard supplemental plan is Medicare Plan D, which covers the cost of prescription medication.
These Medicare supplemental plans may add new healthcare services to cover or cover the cost of deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Medicare Supplement plans require additional premiums, on top of the premium for Medicare Part B or even Part A.
Maryland Medicare Advantage options included plans from the following private insurance companies in 2024:
- AARP – UnitedHealthcare
- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
- Colonial Penn
- Garden State
- Great Southern
- Philadelphia American
- State Farm
Maryland Medicare Enrollment
Maryland residents are eligible for Medicare if they are U.S. citizens above 65 years old or are under 65 but are permanently disabled, have end-stage renal disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Use Medicare’s online eligibility tool if you are unsure if you qualify.
- You are 65 or older, and you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 40 quarters.
- You are under age 65 and collect benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for at least 24 consecutive months.
- You have ESRD or ALS.
Enrollment Period Dates
Initial Enrollment Period
This is a seven-month window that allows you to sign up for a plan
- Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
- Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65
Medicare Open Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for a plan, switch a plan or leave a plan
- Begins Starts October 15th
- Ends December 7th
Special Enrollment Period
Special enrollment periods allow you to enroll outside the regular enrollment periods under specific circumstances.
General Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B if you didn’t sign up when first eligible or if you’re not qualified for a Special Enrollment Period.
- Starts January 1st
- Ends March 31st
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
This is when you can switch or leave a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Starts January 1st
- Ends March 31st
Maryland Enrollment Tips & Advice
Before enrolling in Medicare, Medigap, or Medicare Advantage, evaluate your options. Consider the pros and cons of price point, coverage, providers/facilities for Part C & D plans before deciding to save time later on down the line!
How Do I Enroll in a Medicare Plan?
If you’re a Maryland resident, we have the Medicare plan for you! We work with your particular needs and financial situation to find plans that fit. Speak to one of our licensed agents today so they can help tailor a plan for you.