How to Find the Best Maryland Medicare Advantage Plans

Although the best Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland for you depend on the specific coverages and benefits you’re looking for, MoneyGeek has made it easier for you to find the best plan for your needs.

Our analysis provides the top-rated plans in Maryland that offer broad benefits and are widely available. The best PPO plan in the state is AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1, while the best HMO plan is Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage Value MD.

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Last Updated: 7/1/2022
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has a five-star quality rating system which MoneyGeek used to determine the best-rated, most widely available plans in Maryland. Our analysis also determined the best plans with and without drug coverage and those that minimize out-of-pocket expenses.

These are general recommendations. Although MoneyGeek has performed exhaustive research to identify the best plans in Maryland, the only way to find one that best fits your needs is to shop around. Remember to check that the hospitals and providers you use are in the network of the plan you purchase.

If you're not looking for a Medicare Advantage plan but want to cover out-of-pocket costs that your base Medicare plan doesn't cover, MoneyGeek also ranked the best Medicare Supplement Plans in Maryland.

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Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Maryland

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Maryland - Overall

When you base your search on your needs and preferences, you’ll find the best Medicare Advantage Plan in Maryland specific to you. For example, the best PPO plan with drug coverage in Maryland is UnitedHealthcare's AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1. The plan offers seven of the most common benefits and a high CMS star rating.

Although more expensive than HMO plans, PPO plans offer much-needed flexibility and give you access to a broader network of providers. Furthermore, with a PPO plan, you don’t need a referral to see a specialist.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
AARP

MoneyGeek’s analysis shows that AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 may be the best for buyers in Maryland who prefer a PPO plan. Certainly the best plan for you is based on your specific needs and circumstances.

This plan offers the following:

  • No monthly premium
  • Drug coverage with a $295 deductible
  • An in-network maximum out-of-pocket limit of $7,550
  • An overall star rating of 4 out of 5 from CMS

The AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 includes all six common benefits: dental, hearing, fitness, vision, worldwide emergency and telehealth. It also has an over-the-counter drugs benefit and Part D drug coverage.

Because it has worldwide emergency coverage, this plan is a good option for those who travel frequently.

Best HMO Medicare Advantage Plan in Maryland

MoneyGeek’s research shows that the Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage Value MD plan from Kaiser Permanente is the best HMO Medicare Advantage plan in Maryland. It includes six common benefits plus an additional two, has drug coverage and comes with a high CMS star rating.

However, your healthcare needs will determine the best HMO Medicare Advantage Plan in Maryland for you.

HMOs are the most common type of healthcare plan and are likely to be more affordable than PPOs, EPOs and POS. There are drawbacks, however. For instance, you must stay within your network to ensure coverage, except in the case of an emergency. You’ll also need a referral to see a specialist.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
Kaiser Permanente

The Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage Value MD is the best HMO plan in Maryland based on MoneyGeek’s review. The best plan for you may differ based on your individual needs and preferences.

The plan includes the following:

  • No monthly premium
  • Drug coverage with no deductible
  • An in-network max-out-of-pocket limit of $7,200
  • An overall CMS star rating of 5 out of 5

The Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage Value MD plan includes six of the most common benefits (dental, vision, hearing, fitness, telehealth and worldwide emergency) in addition to over-the-counter drugs and transportation. It provides Part D drug coverage and has a high rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Maryland Without Drug Coverage

If you don’t need Part D prescription drug coverage in your Maryland Medicare Advantage plan, you have more options to choose from.

For a sample shopper in Maryland looking for a Medicare Advantage plan with or without drug coverage, at least six core benefits and a high CMS rating, MoneyGeek found that Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage Liberty plan from Kaiser Permanente may be the best option.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
Kaiser Permanente

Although ​​Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage Liberty is the best plan for shoppers who do not need drug coverage, your unique circumstances may change that selection.

If you do buy this plan, you can expect:

  • No monthly premium
  • An in-network max-out-of-pocket limit of $6,900
  • An overall CMS star rating of 5 out of 5

This plan includes the six most common benefits you’d expect, including dental, hearing, vision, fitness, worldwide emergency and telehealth. It has two additional benefits, over-the-counter drugs and transportation. It also has an excellent rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Maryland for Low Max Out-of-Pocket Costs

While many Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland have low or no premiums, you may still end up paying thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. To avoid this, MoneyGeek determined the best plans with a low in-network maximum, drug coverage, at least six core benefits and a good CMS rating.

Based on these parameters, the best plan in Maryland is the AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 offered by UnitedHealthcare.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
AARP

MoneyGeek found that the AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 is the best plan for most shoppers looking for a Medicare Advantage plan in Maryland with low out-of-pocket expenses. As always, the best option for you can be different based on your personal needs and requirements.

Excluding health plans with high max out-of-pocket limits, AARP’s Choice Plan 1 is the best possible plan for buyers in Maryland, with or without drug coverage. If you opt to go with this plan, here’s what you can expect:

  • No monthly premium
  • The in-network max-out-of-pocket limit with this plan is $7,550
  • An overall CMS star rating of 4 out of 5

Having a low max out-of-pocket limit can help reduce expenses significantly, especially if you have a very expensive year for health payments. With the AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1, once you reach the in-network max out-of-pocket limit of $7,550, you don’t have to pay any more.

With a PPO plan, the max out-of-pocket limit for out-of-network coverage is different from the in-network limit. For the AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1, this limit is $11,300.

Medicare Advantage Plan in Maryland - Statistics

Maryland residents can choose Medicare Advantage plans from nine healthcare providers. The following statistics about plan components, such as plan types, $0 premium plans and commonly-offered benefits, can help you figure out which you can expect and which are less common.

1

Maryland Medicare Advantage Plans are a mix of HMO, PPO and MSA plans with 62% offering drug coverage

At 60%, most plans in Maryland are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans. Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans make up about 21% of all the options and 18.8% of the plans are Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans. Around 62% of all plans offer drug coverage.

2

31% of Medicare Advantage Plans in Maryland have a $0 premium

In Maryland, nine unique plans do not charge a monthly premium. That’s about 31% of unique plans with a $0 premium. For plans that charge premiums, the average monthly cost is $81.30.

3

Hearing, telehealth and vision are the common benefits in Maryland, with most plans offering them

Out of the several benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland, hearing, telehealth and vision are the three most widely available. On the other hand, benefits such as emergency response devices, home safety devices and in-home support are rarely available.

Methodology

MoneyGeek collected data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2022 MA Landscape Source Files released in October 2021. Plans in Maryland were filtered down to those that offer drug coverage (unless otherwise noted), offer six of the most common Medicare Advantage coverage benefits and are available to at least 50% of the population of Maryland based on county availability.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.