Medicare Supplement Plans in Maryland
This article was updated on: 10/12/2018
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) is extremely popular in Maryland. In 2018, about 88% of Medicare enrollees in the state were enrolled in Original Medicare (instead of Medicare health plans), according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Medicare Supplement plans in Maryland can work alongside Medicare to cover certain Part A and Part B out-of-pocket costs. If you are considering a Medicare Supplement plan in Maryland, the information below may help you decide if the coverage makes sense for you.
Why would I want a Medicare Supplement plan in Maryland?
There are no maximum out-of-pocket limits with Original Medicare. If you were to have a health crisis and end up in the hospital for an extended length of time, you could wind up with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Medicare Supplement plans in Maryland might protect you against these catastrophic expenses. They might also help if you have frequent doctor visits or other medical care.
What do Medicare Supplement plans in Maryland cover?
Medicare Supplement plans in Maryland are sold by private insurance companies. Each Medicare Supplement plan in Maryland has a set of basic benefits that is standardized in 47 states, including Maryland. For example, Medicare Supplement Plan F in Maryland has the same basic benefits as Plan F in any other state. The exceptions are Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, which have their own standardized Medicare Supplement plans.
Each of the 10 standardized plans generally covers:
- Your Medicare Part A hospital coinsurance for an additional 365 days after your Original Medicare benefits are used up
- Between 50% and 100% of the cost of your first three pints of blood
- Between 50% and 100% of your Medicare Part B coinsurance amounts
- Between 50% and 100% of your Part A hospice coinsurance or copayment amounts.
Some Medicare Supplement plans in Maryland pay all or part of your Part A and/or Part B deductibles, your skilled nursing facility coinsurance amounts, and Part B excess charges if applicable.
If you travel internationally, you know that Original Medicare doesn’t generally cover any health-care expenses, except in limited situations. Some Medicare Supplement plans in Maryland plans may cover emergency medical care abroad (generally 80% up to plan limits).
Medicare Supplement plans in Maryland sold today don’t, however, typically cover any out-of-pocket costs associated with prescription drugs. They also don’t cover your Part A and/or Part B premiums. For Medicare prescription drug coverage, you can sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
What are the costs of Medicare Supplement plans in Maryland?
Each insurance company sets its own premiums for the plans they offer, and they vary widely depending on how the company “rates” the plans. There are three ways Medicare Supplement plans in Maryland can be rated:
- Community-rated: everyone in the plan pays the same premium, regardless of age.
- Issue-age rated: Your premium is based on your age when you bought the plan.
- Attained-age rated: Your premium goes up as you get older.
Premiums can rise each year due to inflation and other factors, but if you buy an attained-age rated plan, you might have higher premium increases. It’s important to know how your insurer rates the plans you are considering, so you can better prepare for potential premium increases.
Plan rating works the same in other states as well.
Some of the less comprehensive plans, specifically Medicare Supplement Plans K and L, have maximum out-of-pocket caps on your medical expenses. Plan F also has a high-deductible option, where you must pay a deductible amount before your benefits kick in. This amount can change every year.
When should I enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in Maryland?
It may be a good idea to buy a Medicare Supplement plan in Maryland as soon as you are eligible, during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period (OEP). If you buy your plan during the six-month OEP period, you can buy any Medicare Supplement plan available in your area, and you can’t be charged a higher premium due to your health status or any pre-existing condition. Your OEP begins the first month that you’re 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
If you wait past your OEP, you lose your guaranteed-issue rights, and the insurance company may require medical underwriting before selling you a plan. During medical underwriting, the insurer looks at your current and past medical history to determine whether to offer you coverage. If you have any serious or chronic health issues, you may not be able to buy a plan at all, or you may be charged a much higher premium and your pre-existing conditions may not be covered for the first six months that you have your plan.
One last thing to keep in mind: Forbes.com reports that Congress passed a law in 2015 that eliminates plans that pay the Medicare Part B deductible effective January 1, 2020. That means Medicare Supplement Plans C and F won’t be available to those who qualify for Medicare on or after that date. If you already have Plan C or Plan F, you’ll be able to keep your plan.
Want to know more about Medicare Supplement plans in Maryland? You can request information from me or set up a phone appointment by following the links below. It’s easy to start comparing plans right away – just enter your ZIP code in the box on this page to get started.
The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these Medicare.com Web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.