How Has Medicare in Maryland Changed Over The Years?

How Has Medicare in Maryland Changed Over The Years?

Last updated on: November 08, 2022

Medicare was first signed into law on July 30th, 1965, and it has changed quite a bit since it first began. President Harry Truman was the first President to sign up for Medicare. He paid $3 per month for his health insurance, and it was taken directly out of his social security check each month. Today, in Maryland, the Part B premium is $148.50 per month.

Additionally, Medicare and Social Security used to be more connected in MD. For people born in 1937 or earlier, they were able to sign up for Medicare also and receive their full social security payments once they turned 65. The age for full social security benefits has been increased to 66 years old for some people and 67 years old for people born in 1960 or later. However, you can still sign up for Medicare in Maryland when you turn 65. Basically, you no longer have to be receiving social security in order to be eligible for Medicare. 

Some Other Changes - Medicare Timeline in Maryland

1972: Additional Coverage For People With Disabilities. When Original Medicare first started, it was only for people 65 years and older. Later, eligibility was expanded to include people who have certain disabilities and chronic conditions, even if they weren’t 65 or older. In 1972, Richard Nixon expanded coverage to include people with disabilities who received social security disability insurance. He also automatically gave Medicare coverage to people with End-Stage Renal Disease. 

1980s-1990s: Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap Plans) Become Regulated. Before the 1980s, Medigap plans were regulated in Maryland. The lack of federal oversight was problematic, so that began to change. Between the 1980s and the 1990s, the federal government, Maryland, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) worked to implement the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1990. This act created standardized Medicare Supplement Plans. It also prohibited the sale of any pre-standardized Medigap plan and helped establish consumer protections in Maryland.

1982: Hospice Coverage. In 1982, Medicare added coverage for hospice care in Maryland. It is covered under Medicare Part A.

1988: Sliding Scale. When Medicare was first introduced, everyone paid the exact same amount for Medicare regardless of how much they made per year. In 1988, Medicare introduced a payment scale that was based on income in Maryland. Your payments would be based on your tax return from 2 years prior. For example, if your income in 2019 was $88,000 or less, your Part B premium in 2021 would be $148.50 per month. If you made $500,000 or more in 2019, your Part B premium in 2021 would be $504.90 per month.

1997: Introduction of Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C). In 1997, Medicare Part C was introduced through the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. People began enrolling in Medicare Advantage Plans in 1999. These plans are offered by private insurance companies in Maryland and must provide at least the same amount of coverage as Original Medicare.

1997: Introduction of Qualified Individuals (QI) Program. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 also created the Qualified Individuals (QI) program. The QI Program is a Medicare Savings Program that helps low-income individuals in MD pay for their Part B premiums. 

2003: Introduction of Part D. Originally, Medicare did not offer a prescription drug plan. Medicare Part D was signed into law in December of 2003 by President George W. Bush, and people began officially enrolling in Medicare Part D Plans in 2006. 

Under the 2003 law that created Medicare Part D, the Social Security Administration also created an Extra Help program in Maryland for lower-income seniors. The purpose of Extra Help is to make sure that seniors have minimal or no drug costs at all in Maryland. It is also referred to as the Part D Low-Income Subsidy. Eligibility is based on your income and level of need. This program only helps people with payments for Part D, not Parts A or B. Medicare Extra Help may provide up to $4,900 of assistance per year if you qualify in MD.

2010: Free Preventative Healthcare Services. President Barack Obama added some free preventative healthcare services to Medicare when he signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010. Some of these services include mammograms and colonoscopies, as well as a yearly physicals in Maryland. 

Changes To Medicare In 2021

Beginning in 2021, some other Medicare-related changes were implemented in Maryland. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Part D Plan, you can get low-cost insulin for $35 or less per month. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage for telehealth visits, which was caused by the emergence of the pandemic. As of 2021, people in MD with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) now have access to more Medicare Advantage plan options. Previously, people with an ESRD diagnosis weren’t eligible for most Medicare Advantage plans in Maryland.

Costs Continue To Rise in Maryland

Generally speaking, Medicare premiums and deductibles also increase each year. While they usually don’t go up substantially from year to year, the accumulation of increases over the years certainly adds up. 

Most Changes Have Been For The Better

While an increase in costs is never ideal, most Medicare changes that have been implemented over the years have been positive ones. Over the last few decades, the introduction of Medicare Advantage Plans has created more options for people to choose from. Sometimes these options aren’t quite as good as the combination of Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement Plans in Maryland. Still, it lets people choose what they think is best for them. Additionally, the fact that Medigap Plans are regulated has been a positive change overall. It means that anyone who signs up for a Medigap Plan receives the exact same coverage, regardless of where the plan is purchased from. 

Enroll Medicare Can Help in {State}

If you have any questions about signing up for Medicare or a Medicare Supplement Plan in Maryland, please Enroll Medicare. We can help you get signed up for any Medicare plan, including Original Medicare, Medicare Supplements, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Advantage Plans. If you’re unsure which one is best for you in Maryland, our expert support staff can help you pick the right plans.

Categories: Medicare Articles, Medicare Coverage, What is Medicare?
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