24% of Medicare enrollees choose a Medicare Advantage plan in Maryland. While this percentage falls below the national average, it’s good to know all your Medicare options to find the best coverage for you. We’ll help you navigate the nuances of Maryland’s Medicare Advantage plans, so you can get the best health outcomes.

Key takeaways:

  • When finding the best Medicare Advantage plan, it’s important to consider what your healthcare and financial priorities are. The best Medicare plan is different for everyone.

  • UnitedHealthcare and Humana are two insurance carriers that have received high ratings for Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland.  

Facts about Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland

  • The average monthly premium in Maryland for Medicare Advantage plans is $35.50.

  • There are 64 Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland.

  • Insurance providers that carry highly-rated plans in Maryland include UnitedHealthcare and Humana.

Keep in mind that plan availability and pricing varies by county. To get an accurate list of plans available to you with details about their networks and pricing, it’s best to speak with one of our licensed Medicare Advisors.

What’s the difference between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare?

Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage are two health insurance options for Americans who are 65 years and older or have a qualifying condition. The main difference between them is that Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare. Because of this, they vary a lot more than Original Medicare, which has the same pricing, coverage, and network for everyone. 

Below  are a few key factors to know about Medicare Advantage plans to understand their pros and cons. 

Out-of-pocket costs vary: While Original Medicare has a standard deductible and coinsurance amounts that are the same for everyone, Medicare Advantage insurers can set their own copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. 

Additional benefits: Medicare Advantage plans include additional benefits beyond what Original Medicare offers. These generally include some routine dental, vision, and hearing coverage. Some plans also offer transportation benefits and free fitness memberships

Out-of-pocket maximums: Medicare Advantage plans have maximum out-of-pocket costs. If you reach this maximum, you won’t have to pay more for healthcare costs for the rest of the year. 

Network restrictions: Medicare Advantage plans operate with provider networks. This means that your provider must be in-network for you to receive full coverage. Your out-of-pocket costs will be higher if you choose to see a doctor outside of your network.

Prior authorization: Medicare Advantage plans require prior authorization more often than Original Medicare, which causes delays to care.

Top-rated Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland

Medicare star ratings offer one way to compare Medicare Advantage plans. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) judges Medicare Advantage plans every year. CMS will give a 5-star rating to a high quality plan and a 1-star rating to a low quality plan. 

In Maryland, UnitedHealthcare carries some 5-star Medicare Advantage plans and Humana carries some 4-star plans.

Keep in mind that the CMS star rating system isn’t a surefire way to find the best Medicare Advantage plan for you. A top-rated plan may not cover your health and financial needs. Additionally, Special Needs Plans don’t usually receive star ratings. In the next section, we’ll discuss what to look for to find the best Maryland Medicare Advantage plan for your personal needs.  

How to find the best Medicare Advantage plan in Maryland

Your healthcare and financial priorities are the most important considerations when looking for a Medicare Advantage plan. Think about the following factors as you start browsing for policies.

Consider costs and coverage

It can be helpful to make a list of all of your potential healthcare costs. Think through how often you see different doctors each year, the prescriptions you take regularly, preventive care needs, and treatments needed for any chronic conditions. Making note of this information can help you find the coverage you need at a cost that works for you.

Compare additional benefits 

When you’re shopping for Medicare Advantage plans, pay attention to the extra benefits they provide and how they fit into your lifestyle. Each Medicare Advantage plan will have a different set of added benefits. You’ll have to choose which are most important to you and determine which plan provides the best overall value. 

Prioritize access to care

Because Medicare Advantage plans operate within provider networks, make sure you know which healthcare facilities and providers are in your insurance plan’s network. If you’re new to Medicare and you want to keep seeing your current doctors and specialists, make sure you choose a plan that keeps them in network.

Get help from knowledgeable agents

There are many things to keep track of when it comes to Medicare, and enrolling in the right plan can be a difficult decision. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone! A licensed Chapter Medicare Advisor can help you compare plans, understand Medicare, and the best coverage for you. Give us a call at 855-900-2427 or schedule a time to chat for free, personalized advice.

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