Hundreds of thousands of Maryland residents have chosen private Maryland Medicare Advantage plans to replace their Original Medicare coverage. There are 64,844 enrollees in Baltimore, another 23,370 in Takoma Park, and a further 14,992 in Salisbury – and that’s only three of Maryland’s 528 cities! Before enrolling in a plan, it’s essential to understand what Medicare Advantage is and how it works.

How Medicare Advantage Plans Work in Maryland

Medicare Advantage is an all-in-one plan that can provide medical, vision, hearing, and dental coverage.

Maryland Medicare Advantage plans offer all the benefits included in Original Medicare, plus additional benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t have. Some also include prescription drug coverage.

Each plan is a little different. Don’t presume that they are all the same. For example, some plans include prescription drug coverage, but others don’t.

Depending on the Maryland county you live in, you may have as many as 49 different Medicare Advantage plans. Before enrolling in a plan, review its summary of benefits to make sure you are getting all the coverage you need.

Medicare Advantage Plans Offered in Maryland

Unlike Medigap plans, which work alongside Original Medicare to help cover out-of-pocket costs, Medicare Advantage plans are not standardized by the federal government. That means that certain factors will be different depending on your zip code.

Below, we have listed some available plans using a single Maryland zip code. Information for your specific zip code may differ somewhat. We have sorted the plans listed below by those having zero-dollar premiums, zero-dollar prescription drug deductibles, five-star ratings, and Part B reductions.

Medicare Advantage Plans with a Zero-Dollar Premium

Maryland Medicare Advantage plans are available that have zero-dollar premiums. However, higher co-pays and maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) limits usually offset the zero-dollar premiums.

The Humana Local PPO plan listed below has a zero-dollar premium and the lowest MOOP limit of the three, at $6,700. It has a four-star rating.

The next most affordable plan is the five-star Kaiser Permanente HMO plan at $6,900. Finally, we have the HMO plan from Kaiser Permanente with a MOOP of $7,200 and a five-star rating.

PLAN PREMIUM MOOP PLAN TYPE STAR RATINGS
Humana $0 $6,700 Local PPO 4
Kaiser Permanente $0 $6,900 HMO 5
Kaiser Permanente $0 $7,200 HMO 5

Medicare Advantage Plans with a Zero-Dollar Drug Deductible

If you take a significant amount of medication regularly, you may consider a Maryland Medicare Advantage plan with a zero-dollar prescription drug deductible.

Kaiser Permanente offers a zero-premium HMO plan with a $7,200 MOOP and a five-star rating. Humana’s five-star-rated plan has a monthly premium of $25 and a MOOP of $6,900. It’s also an HMO.

Next in line is the Johns Hopkins plan, an HMO with a $7,550 MOOP and a $30 monthly premium. It has a three-star rating. Carefirst BCBS offers two different HMO plans, but neither is rated. The first one has a $35 monthly premium and a $7,550 MOOP. The other has a $95 monthly premium and a $6,550 MOOP.

PLAN PREMIUM MOOP PLAN TYPE STAR RATINGS
Kaiser Permanente $0 $7,200 HMO 5
Humana $25.00 $6,900 HMO 5
Johns Hopkins $30.00 $7,550 HMO 3
Carefirst BCBS $35.00 $7,550 HMO N/A
Carefirst BCBS $95.00 $6,550 HMO N/A

Medicare Advantage Plans with a 5-Star Rating

All of the Medicare Advantage plans offered in Maryland receive a rating between one and five stars, with five being the highest. The higher the rating, the better the plan is thought to be. If you already have Medicare Advantage, but a five-star plan becomes available in your area, you can choose to change it during a special enrollment period.

Kaiser Permanente offers a five-star HMO plan with a $25 monthly premium and a $6,900 MOOP.

PLAN PREMIUM MOOP PLAN TYPE STAR RATINGS
Kaiser Permanente $0 $6,900 HMO 5

Medicare Advantage Plans with a Part B Reduction

Medicare Part B plans include monthly fees, but some Medicare Advantage plans can reduce the monthly costs. If you are enrolled in Medicare Part B, consider these Maryland Medicare Advantage plans with Part B cost reductions.

Humana offers a plan with a zero-dollar premium that includes a $50 Part B Reduction. The plan’s MOOP is $6,700, and it has a four-star rating.

Remember that the numbers listed below are subject to change depending on the beneficiary’s exact Maryland zip code. Part B reductions may not be available in all areas.

PLAN PREMIUM MOOP PART B REDUCTION STAR RATINGS
Humana $0 $6,700 Local PPO 4

Ancillary/DVH

Maryland Medicare Advantage plans differ from Medicare Supplements like Medigap. While both Medicare Advantage and Medigap have advantages and disadvantages, Maryland Medicare Advantage plans often offer ancillary coverage for basic needs that Original Medicare does not cover, such as dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drugs.

Cities in Maryland with Estimated Premiums for Medicare Supplement Coverage

No matter where you live in Maryland, Medicare Supplement premiums differ. So we’ve created some handy charts for the following cities:

FAQs

What Medicare Advantage plans are available in Maryland?

There are four types of Maryland Medicare Advantage plans available: health maintenance organization (HMO), preferred provider organization (PPO), private fee-for-service (PFFS), and special needs plan (SNP). Each offers different pricing and different levels of flexibility as to which healthcare providers you can visit. All plans provide the same coverage as Original Medicare but may also provide additional benefits, sometimes at a higher premium.

Which company has the best Medicare Advantage plan in Maryland?

If you are looking for a five-star plan, see if there is a Maryland Medicare Advantage plan in your area offered by either Kaiser Permanente or UnitedHealthcare. In particular, Kaiser Permanente’s HMO plans usually have lower monthly premiums and lower maximum out-of-pocket costs.

Does Medicare cover dental in Maryland?

Original Medicare does not cover routine dental care. Many Maryland Medicare Advantage plans do include dental care. Read the plan’s summary of benefits to see if the plan you are considering offers dental care coverage.

Can I drop my Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare in Maryland?

Yes, you can drop your plan in favor of returning to your Original Medicare between October 15 and December 7 each year during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period. Your new coverage under Original Medicare will begin on January 1.

You can also drop your plan in favor of returning to Original Medicare when the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period takes place each year from January 1 through March 31.

If you change from a plan that has prescription drug coverage, remember to sign up for a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan (PDP) unless you have drug coverage from some other source. If you don’t sign up for a PDP when switching and decide to sign up for Part D coverage later, you can face a penalty for late enrollment.

Is there a trial period for Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland?

Medicare lets you have a one-year “trial period” when you first sign up for a Maryland Medicare Advantage plan. During the trial period, you can go back to your Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan without having to answer any medical questions.

How to Get Help Enrolling in Medicare Advantage

Not sure which Maryland Medicare Advantage plan is right for you? Let us help. Medigap works with all carriers and compares all plans to find the best one for you. Our services are entirely free, and you can get rates when you fill out our online form or call us at the number above.

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by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications as an industry expert since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.