Per guidance from the Medicare Buy-In, Medical Assistance that was extended due to COVID-19 is being stopped and redeterminations have resumed. Please note, if/when you receive your Medical Assistance Redetermination, you are highly encouraged to complete and submit it timely.
Baltimore County's State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) office provides objective education and assistance to individuals eligible for Medicare, a health insurance for people 65 and over, as well as for people with 24 months of Social Security Disability (SSDI). SHIP trains volunteers to be Medicare counselors, Community Educators and Part D Prescription Plan researchers. In addition, SHIP counselors assist Medicare beneficiaries to assess if they are eligible for financial programs which assist with the costs of Medicare and their prescriptions.
Trained SHIP volunteers provide free, unbiased, confidential, one-on-one counseling by phone (in-person during the Fall Part D Open Enrollment) to Medicare beneficiaries and their families. Topics include the following:
- Medicare basics and original Medicare
- Prescription Drug Plans and Health Plans (Medicare Advantage Plans—HMOs and PPOs)
- Medigap Supplemental Plans
- Medical Assistance
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB) and Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMB)
- Maryland Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program (MD SPDAP)
- Eligibility and enrollment for financial assistance to assist with Medicare premiums, co-pays and deductibles
- Billing issues and appeals
New to Medicare
Part D Open Enrollment
SHIP provides one-on-one assistance with Part D research for Medicare beneficiaries at Senior Centers during the Annual Part D Open Enrollment from October 15 through December 7. The Open Enrollment period is the time to search for the best and least expensive Prescription Drug Plan for 2024. Learn more.
During the 1.5-hour Medicare Basics presentation, SHIP will address the following:
- When and how to enroll
- What does Medicare cover
- How Medicare works
- Retiree health benefits
- Medigaps versus Medicare HMOs
- Programs that assist with Medicare costs
This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to select the best health care coverage for yourself now and in the future.
Every year, there are changes in the amounts of Medicare premiums and deductibles. This presentation will keep you up to date regarding what is new, updated or just needs to be reemphasized. This one-hour presentation is for those who have been on Medicare for several years.
If you are on a Medicare Part D plan, the SHIP office strongly encourages you to review your Part D options to determine if your current Part D plan is still the best for the next calendar year. Every year, the Part D plans are allowed to change their premiums, deductibles, formularies, pharmacy contracts and tier structure, therefore it is imperative that you be proactive during annual open enrollment. This presentation will review the Medicare Plan Finder tool and how you can do your own Part D research and enrollment.
The Senior Medical Patrol (SMP) offers educational programs on Medicare fraud and abuse and what Medicare beneficiaries can do to help save Medicare for future generations. In addition, individuals who are concerned about a case of suspected fraud or abuse may contact SMP directly to report the incident, by calling 410-887-2059 or emailing email@example.com.
Learn more from the following resources:
Maryland Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program (SPDAP)
Apply for help with Medicare drug plan costs.
Maryland Health Connection
The marketplace for those not on Medicare to purchase affordable health insurance and apply for Medical Assistance.
Personalized information including Medicare Summary Notices, preventive services, dates and more.