Finding a Maryland Medicare plan is easy if you work with an independent agency like ours. We can provide details on the available Medicare supplements as well as information about Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland. Like most states, Maryland allows residents who are either disabled or age 65 and older to qualify for Medicare.
How to Apply for Medicare in Maryland
You are eligible for Medicare if you are age 65 and you are either a citizen or a permanent resident who has lived here in the U. S. for more than 5 years. Some people under age 65 also qualify for Medicare early due to disability.
If you are already collecting Social Security benefits, then you will be automatically enrolled at age 65. Just look for your Medicare card in your mailbox about 1 – 2 months before your 65th birthday.
If you are not yet taking income benefits, then you need to enroll in Medicare. You can do this at a local Social Security office, or you can go online to Social Security’s website to enroll. Your initial enrollment window for Medicare begins 3 months before your birthday and runs through 3 months after your birthday. As long as you enroll during this window, there will be no late penalties.
Some people who are still working at age 65 may decide to postpone enrollment into Medicare Part B. As long as your employer coverage has 20 or more employees, this is fine. Your employer coverage will be primary, and your Medicare will be secondary.
Medicare Parts You’ll Need
When a resident turns 65, he or she can qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A as long as he or she has worked at least 40 quarters in the United States. Beneficiaries must pay for Medicare Part B, and premiums can vary based on the level of income.
Since traditional Medicare does not include drug coverage, residents will want to purchase a standalone Maryland Part D Drug plan. Although prescription drug plans are voluntary, delaying enrollment without other creditable coverage can result in significant penalties. Part D drug plans also provide catastrophic coverage against future drug needs. Fortunately, there are some very inexpensive Part D drug plans options in this state.
In addition to Part A, Part B, and Part D, are Medicare Plans – Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans.
Maryland Medicare Supplements
Most states offer ten unique Medicare Supplements or Medigap plans, and Maryland is no exception. Medigap plans help cover the cost-sharing expenses that Medicare leaves for the beneficiary to pay, such as the Part A deductible, Part B coinsurance, and more.
Maryland Medicare Supplement Plan F
Maryland Medigap Plan F is a popular plan option since it provides first-dollar coverage of all Medicare deductibles and coinsurance that normally a beneficiary would have to pay out of pocket. Although the prices may vary in different counties, the benefits for Plan F are always the same.
With first-dollar coverage, you won’t pull your wallet out for ANY Medicare Part A, or B covered services. Even a knee replacement will be paid 100% by Medicare and your Medicare supplement Plan F. Medigap plan F has been a popular seller for decades for this reason.
In 2020 though, Plan F will begin phasing out. People already enrolled in Plan F can keep their plan. Everyone else will need to choose a different plan going forward. One of the most popular alternatives is likely to Maryland Medigap Plan G.
Maryland Medicare Supplement Plan G
Plan G works exactly like Plan F with one exception. You will pay the Part B outpatient deductible once per year. After that is paid, the plan will function exactly like Plan F for the rest of the year.
Medigap Plan G has lower premiums, so sometimes you may find out that it is more cost-effective than Plan F anyway. Also, we have found that over the last few years, Plan G in Maryland has had lower rate increases than Plan F at several insurance companies. This provides an extra opportunity for savings.
Lastly, Medicare will not be phasing out Plan G, so you will be able to keep this plan going forward.
Medicare Advantage Plans in Maryland
Maryland also has several Medicare Advantage plan carriers. In these plans, you agree to use a network of doctors. Premiums are often lower because of this. Many Advantage plans usually have a built-in Part D plan too.
Unlike Medicare supplements, Maryland Medicare Advantage plans pay instead of Medicare.
Members will pay copays for various medical services like doctor visits, lab-work, hospital stays, and ambulance rides. Before enrolling, you should carefully review the plan’s summary of benefits to be sure that like the coverage. You should also check with your favorite physicians and hospitals to see if they are in the network.
One good thing about Medicare Advantage plans is that they only have one health question. This makes it easy to get approved. However, you can only enroll or disenroll from a Maryland Medicare Advantage plan at certain times of the year.
Common Questions About Maryland Medicare:
These are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about Medicare Supplements in Maryland.
Medicare Supplement premiums are based on age, gender, zip code, and more. Maryland is usually in the top five most expensive states for Medicare Supplements.
There are about 26 Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland.
About 23% of Maryland Medicare beneficiaries have a Medigap plan, where as about 11% of beneficiaries have a Medicare Advantage plan.
Get Help with Maryland Medicare Plans
You can compare costs for Medicare plans in Maryland easily. Just reach out to us here at Boomer Benefits, and we can provide a list of plans operating in your area. We’ll work to determine which plans your doctor accepts. We’ll also check to be sure the plan’s drug formulary includes your medications.
Our service is 100% free. You can reach us at 1-855-732-9055.