Health insurance can fully or partially cover some of your medical expenses to help alleviate the burden. As someone gets older, they have the option to become a beneficiary for a national program called Medicare.
People all across the country can have access to benefits once they meet the insurance's criteria. If you live and Maryland and have questions about Medicare, you are not alone. Many residents are either enrolled or are close to enrolling in a Medicare program. As you are looking around, you might have some questions about Medicare coverage. Who is qualified to sign up? Can you buy an Advantage policy in Maryland? In this article, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about Medicare in Maryland.
Many residents in Maryland are eligible to receive benefits from a Medicare program. There are over 1.7 million people in Maryland who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage and 5.3 million people with a Prescription Drug Plan.
Before you sign up, you should check to make sure you meet the criteria. First, you need to be a United States citizen. Permanent legal residents are able to enroll as well. However, you have to have lived in the country for a minimum of five years.
There is also an age requirement. A person has to be 65 years old in order to become a beneficiary. However, you do not need to wait until you are 65 to receive benefits. Many people can get a Medicare plan for disability reasons. A person has to have been on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for at least two years.
Another way someone can become eligible is if they are diagnosed with end-stage renal disease or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Those are the basic requirements for Medicare in Maryland. Of course, Medicare offers various savings programs to help people pay for premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. For example, a resident could apply for the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB). Eligibility criteria include income limits. An individual would need to make no more than $1,094 a month to qualify for QMB. The limit increases for couples.
Medicare in Maryland has four areas of benefits. Most people get insurance for Original Medicare which includes Parts A and B.
Learn more about the differences between Medicare Part A and Part B in our guide.
Some people choose to enroll in Part C, which is Medicare Advantage. This alternative to Original Medicare offers coverage for other medical services. Part D or prescription drug coverage helps cover the costs of medication prescriptions.
Some people automatically gain Part A when they apply for retirement or disability benefits from either Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board. You are automatically signed up for Parts A and B if you have been getting benefits for four months before you turn 65.
If you do not automatically get Medicare, you can sign up during the initial enrollment period. The period lasts for seven months, and it starts three months before your 65th birthday. There are also additional enrollment periods including the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which starts on October 15th and ends on December 7th. Learn more about the various Medicare enrollment periods.
Make sure to review which plans are available where you live. The availability varies from county to county. One policy may suit your needs better than others.
Once you are ready, you may wonder how to enroll for benefits. Besides applying over the phone, you can sign up from the comfort of your own home. You can get Medicare in Maryland by going online through the Social Security Administration's website. You would complete a benefits application form and provide the necessary information. Some people prefer to enroll in person rather than online.
Medicare helps thousands of people in Maryland with their healthcare needs. There are a lot of plans to choose from and you may have questions about the different types of coverage or plans. Contact us to speak with a licensed insurance agent or visit our site to compare plans.