Best Cheap Medicare Advantage Plans in Maryland

Review Medicare plan options with licensed insurance agents near you

UnitedHealthcare has the best Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland.

It's the only company that sells plans with a perfect 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Its rates are cheaper than the state average, and it has high customer satisfaction. Kaiser Permanente is also a good option for cheap plans, and Humana is best if you take prescription medications.

Maryland is one of the most expensive states for Medicare Advantage, with an average rate of $53 per month. But cheaper plans are available, and most people can get a plan with no monthly rate.

ValuePenguin's review and analysis of Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland focuses only on plans with prescription drug coverage. To determine the best companies, our experts used Medicare star ratings, which encompass several categories, including customer satisfaction, the ease of getting health care appointments and the quality of a plan's coverage in several areas. Average rates, availability, plan features and extra perks were also considered.

Compare Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland

Maryland residents have a total of nine Medicare Advantage companies to choose between.

But not every company is available statewide. For example, UnitedHealthcare sells plans in Baltimore County, but not Baltimore City. The best way to find out which companies and plans are available in your area is to search by ZIP code on Medicare.gov.

Company
Monthly cost
Rating
Aetna Medicare Advantage logo
Aetna$38
UnitedHealthcare/AARP Medicare Advantage logo
UHC$38
CommuniCare Advantage logo
CommuniCare$41Not yet rated
Cigna Medicare Advantage logo
Cigna$44
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Medicare Advantage logo
CareFirst BCBS$51
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Review Medicare plan options with licensed insurance agents near you

Should I choose an HMO or PPO plan?

Health insurance coverage, including Medicare Advantage plans, comes in two main types: HMO and PPO plans. Choosing the right plan can help ensure you stay within your budget and get health care that you need.

  • HMO plans are usually a cheaper option, so they can be best for people on tight budgets. But you have to have a primary care doctor and get a referral before you see a specialist. You also can't use doctors outside the plan's network, unless you are willing to pay the full cost of the visit on your own.
  • PPO plans usually cost more, but they also let you go to any doctor. These plans are best if you want the flexibility to go to any medical office. You'll pay more for out-of-network doctors, but you'll still have some coverage. You don't need a primary care doctor or a referral to see a specialist.

Best overall: UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare sells the highest-quality Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland.

It's the only company that has plans with the best star rating from Medicare.gov. Its rates are cheap compared to the state average, and it has good customer service.

  • Star rating

  • Monthly rate

    $38 ?

Why it's great

  • Sells 5-star rated plans
  • Has high customer satisfaction
  • Is available to more than two thirds of Maryland's Medicare population

The Erickson Advantage Liberty plan from UnitedHealthcare is a great option if coverage quality and customer satisfaction are your main concerns. It has a 5-star rating from Medicare.gov, which means it has the highest customer satisfaction possible. It has no monthly rate. And your medical and prescription drug bills will be paid immediately because there are no deductibles. However, if you go to the doctor often or have a serious medical issue, you could pay up to $7,300 in a year for your health care. The plan is also an HMO, which means you have to stay inside the doctor network to have coverage.

The AARP/Unitedhealthcare MD-0001 plan is a good option if you want more flexibility to choose your doctors. It isn't quite as highly rated as the Erickson plan, but it still has 4 out of 5 stars. It's a PPO, so you can see any doctor and still have some coverage, even if they aren't in-network. It doesn't have a monthly rate, but if you take prescription medications, you have to pay $295 before your coverage starts. And you could pay up to $8,300 for your medical bills each year because the plan's out-of-pocket maximum is high.


Best cheap plans: Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente has cheap Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland.

Kaiser Permanente sells two plans with no monthly rate and another that is considerably cheaper than the state average, even though its average rate is high. It also has a high Medicare rating when it comes to getting health care appointments quickly. This is an important feature, since being able to see a doctor for a health issue quickly can impact how soon you recover.

  • Star rating

  • Monthly rate

    $54 ?

Why it's great

  • Sells three plans with either no or low monthly costs
  • Makes it easy to get health care appointments

If you live in Baltimore City or Baltimore County, the Kaiser Permanente Value Balt is a good option. It has no monthly rate or deductible. And it gives you coverage for over-the-counter medications and telehealth appointments. The plan comes with two optional packages to help you tailor your coverage to your needs. The first option gives you coverage for dental services, eyewear and hearing aids. The second option is just for dental coverage.

Kaiser Permanente is unique because it pairs its coverage with its hospitals and medical offices. This can make finding doctors, getting appointments and paying your bills easier because the plans are built with the medical system in mind. But it can limit you when you look for a doctor or want certain care. If you want to use a doctor outside of Kaiser Permanente's network, you'll have to pay the full cost yourself.

The Kaiser Permanente Standard MD plan is a good choice if you want to be able to see doctors that are outside the Kaiser Permanente network. While it's not a PPO plan, it does offer some out-of-network coverage, so you get a bit more flexibility. The plan costs $27 per month, and it also gives you coverage for transportation to and from medical appointments.


Best for prescription medications: Humana

Humana's Medicare Advantage plans have good drug coverage and a mail-order pharmacy option.

If you take prescription medications regularly, especially expensive ones, a Humana Medicare Advantage plan could be the best option. While other plans also have good drug coverage, Humana has the added perk of a mail-order pharmacy for convenience.

  • Star rating

  • Monthly rate

    $56 ?

Why it's great

  • Has good coverage for specialty drugs
  • Offers a mail-order pharmacy service

The HumanaChoice (H5216-376) plan is a good option if you take prescription medications, especially specialty drugs. You have to pay the first $505 for your prescription medications, which is the highest allowable drug deductible. But after that, you only pay 25% of the cost for specialty drugs. Humana's other plans have lower drug deductibles, but you have to pay more for specialty drugs. Because these drugs can be so expensive, the lower percentage that you pay, called coinsurance, could help you save money overall.

Humana plans also give you the option of filling your prescriptions using the CenterWell mail-order pharmacy. The service is rated as above-average by J.D. Power, and it allows you to get your prescriptions mailed directly to you without shipping fees. When you choose to use CenterWell, your doctor sends your prescription to CenterWell, where a pharmacist reviews it. Then, your medications will be filled, packaged and shipped directly to your home. The CenterWell Specialty Pharmacy is a separate option that can offer you guidance on managing your medications for complex or chronic conditions.


Medicare Advantage availability in Maryland

Everyone in Maryland has at least two options for a Medicare Advantage plan. But if you live in the areas around Baltimore, Annapolis and near the District of Columbia, you have around 20 Medicare Advantage plans to choose from.

Number of Medicare Advantage plans by Maryland county

Number of Medicare Advantage plans by county in Maryland

Maryland county
Number of Medicare Advantage plans
Allegany2
Anne Arundel21
Baltimore22
Baltimore City15
Calvert7
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How do I choose a Medicare Advantage plan?

As you shop for a Medicare Advantage plan in Maryland, be sure to compare your options and make sure a plan's benefits match your medical needs.

  • If you take prescription medications, are they covered?
  • Are your health care providers in the plan's network?
  • Do the plan costs, including the monthly rate and out-of-pocket costs, work for your budget?
  • Do you need dental, vision or hearing benefits, and does the plan offer them?
  • Does the plan have additional perks, like a fitness membership, transportation coverage or meal delivery?

You'll have the chance to choose a Medicare Advantage plan when you first become eligible for Medicare, and then each year afterward during open enrollment.


Medicare-eligible residents in Maryland: 957,990
Medicare Advantage enrollees in Maryland: 237,582
Number of Medicare Advantage companies in Maryland: 9
Average monthly cost of Medicare Advantage in Maryland: $53


Frequently asked questions

Are there any Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland?

Yes, there are a total of 28 Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage available in Maryland from nine different companies, including Aetna, Cigna, Kaiser Permanente, Humana and UnitedHealthcare. You could also opt for a plan without drug coverage, which gives you six additional plans to choose from.

What is the best Medicare Advantage plan in Maryland?

UnitedHealthcare sells the best Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland. It is the only company in the state that has 5-star plans. But the best plan for you may come from a different company. It depends on your budget and medical needs.

How much is Medicare Advantage in Maryland?

A Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage costs an average of $53 per month in Maryland. Maryland is one of the most expensive states for Medicare Advantage plans. But unless you live in Allegany County in the western part of the state, you'll have at least one Medicare Advantage plan available that has no monthly rate. And every county has plans available that cost less than the state average.


Methodology and sources

ValuePenguin sourced Medicare Advantage plan data and rates from public use files provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This data was used to calculate average rates in Maryland for Medicare Advantage plans that include drug coverage. Our experts also factored in Medicare star ratings, plan availability, coverage benefits and extra perks when choosing the best Medicare Advantage companies in Maryland. This analysis excludes Medicare-Medicaid Plans (MMPs), Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) plans, prepayment plans (HCPPs), sanctioned plans and Special Needs Plans (SNPs).

Information about the Medicare-eligible population by county in Maryland comes from the University of Iowa. Other sources include J.D. Power and Medicare.gov.

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Invitations for application for insurance may be made through QW Insurance Solutions, LLC ("QWIS"), a separate subsidiary of QuoteWizard, LLC ("QuoteWizard"), a LendingTree subsidiary, or through its designated agents, only where licensed and appointed. Licensing information for QWIS can be found here. QWIS is a non-government licensed health insurance agency. Not affiliated with or endorsed by any government agency.

Callers will be directed to a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Supplement insurance and/or Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS organizations. Calls will be routed to a licensed insurance agent who can provide you with further information about the insurance plans offered by one or more nationally recognized insurance companies. Each of the organizations they represent has a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.

Availability of benefits and plans varies by carrier and location and may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 73 organizations which offer 5,110 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options.

These numbers provided are not specific to your area, but rather represent the number of organizations and the number of products available on a national basis. We will connect you with licensed insurance agents who can provide information about the number of organizations they represent and the number of products they offer in your service area. Not all plans offer all of these benefits. Benefits may vary by carrier and location.

Deductibles, copays, coinsurance, limitations, and exclusions may apply.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information contained on this website. Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system every year.

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