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Medicare Advantage Plans in Maryland
What are Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland?
The Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) program in Maryland (and other states) offers an alternative for the beneficiary looking for coverage equal to or beyond what is offered through Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans provide all the same coverage as Original Medicare (except for hospice care, which is still covered under Medicare Part A), but usually include additional benefits as well. These additional benefits may vary from plan to plan and may include vision care, hearing services and devices, dental care, wellness programs, and prescription drug benefits.
Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland are offered by private companies that are approved by Medicare. The same is true in other states. There are several types of Medicare Advantage plans, although not every type of plan may be available in your part of Maryland. Some popular types of Medicare Advantage plans include Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, and Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans. These plan types vary in terms of the providers included, requirements for referrals, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Prescription drug coverage with Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland
Many Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland, as in other states, include prescription drug benefits. Also referred to as Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans, they offer comprehensive benefits in a single convenient plan. It's important to note that you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium along with any premium the Medicare Advantage plan charges.
If you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan in Maryland without prescription drug benefits, you may be able to enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan in addition to your Medicare Advantage plan. This stand-alone prescription drug coverage is available from private, Medicare-approved health insurance companies. Be aware that some Medicare Advantage plans may not allow enrollment in a stand-alone drug plan. If you're enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage, you can't enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan at the same time.
Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan in Maryland
There may be several different Medicare Advantage plans in your area of Maryland to choose from. These plans may vary somewhat in terms of availability, benefits beyond Original Medicare coverage, and out-of-pocket costs. You may want to carefully compare plans before choosing a plan that may fit your medical needs and budget.
Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer a monthly premium as low as $0. However, it's important to compare all plan costs, including copayments, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket expenses.