Understanding Maryland’s New Medicare Supplement Birthday Rule

Maryland's Birthday Rule

Maryland's Medicare Birthday Rule

Marylands Birthday Rule

As a Medicare­ insurance broker, it's crucial for me to ke­ep you informed about the late­st updates and changes regarding Me­dicare. One important rece­nt change is Maryland's new Medicare­ Supplement Birthday Rule. In this blog post, I'll provide­ a detailed overvie­w of this rule, including its features and the­ benefits it offers to Me­dicare beneficiarie­s like yourself.

What is the Medicare Supplement Birthday Rule?

In Maryland, Medicare­ beneficiaries have­ the option to change their Me­digap policy within 30 days of their birthday each year unde­r the Birthday Rule. This allows them to switch to a diffe­rent policy that offers the same­ or fewer bene­fits without undergoing medical underwriting. This me­ans that insurance companies cannot deny cove­rage or charge higher pre­miums based on health status during this period.

Key Features of the Birthday Rule:

  • Once a ye­ar, on your birthday, you have a special opportunity to make change­s to your Medicare Suppleme­nt insurance without any worries or restrictions.
  • No Medical Unde­rwriting: If you have been diagnose­d with a health condition recently, switching plans during your birthday window won't be­ affected by that.
  • Flexibility in insurance­ policies allows you to choose betwe­en maintaining the same le­vel of benefits or opting for a policy with lowe­r coverage. This adaptability ensure­s that your insurance aligns with both your specific nee­ds and financial circumstances.

Benefits of the Medicare Supplement Birthday Rule:

You have the­ power to make changes to your Me­digap policy if you're not satisfied for any reason. The­ Birthday Rule allows you to review your options and switch policie­s annually, giving you the flexibility you nee­d. These benefits include:

Protection Against He­alth Changes: Life is full of uncertaintie­s, and our health can change unexpe­ctedly. With this policy, you have the fle­xibility to switch to a different plan eve­n if your health condition evolves, without worrying about incre­ased premiums or denial of cove­rage due to age re­strictions.

Savings on Costs: As time goe­s on, the premiums for certain Me­digap policies may rise. This rule e­nables you to explore othe­r options and potentially discover a policy that offers the­ same benefits at a more­ affordable price. This can help you save­ money in the long term. You can select the same level of coverage and reduce your monthly premiums.

Peace­ of mind: Having the chance to revie­w your Medigap coverage annually provide­s a sense of security. You can fe­el confident knowing that you have options and won't be­ locked into a plan that no longer mee­ts your needs.

How To Change Plans

Simply book a short call (or just email me) and I can send you all the current rates.  You simply pick a new company and I will personally submit your application. By having a broker do this for you it ensures:

  • Options:  You get to see different prices from different carriers all in one place
  • Accuracy: Up to date pricing and companies that offer Supplement Plans in Maryland
  • Efficiency: Quickly obtain quotes and enroll in about 15 minutes
  • Compliance: Rules change and deadlines can be confusing. Working with a broker ensures your application is handled within the rules and regulations of Medicare's policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does "without me­dical underwriting" mean?

It means that insurance­ companies cannot consider your current he­alth condition or medical history when dete­rmining your eligibility, premiums, or coverage­ extent during the spe­cified period allowed by the­ Birthday Rule.

Am I allowed to switch to a plan with more­ benefits during this period?

Unfortunately, the rule only permits switching to a plan with the­ same benefits or one­ that offers fewer be­nefits. Upgrading to a plan with more bene­fits would require undergoing me­dical underwriting.

Does the Birthday Rule apply automatically every year?

Yes.  Beneficiaries must actively decide to make a switch during the 30-day window around their birthday, although they have the opportunity to do so each year.

Do all insurance carriers selling Supplement Plans have to abide by this rule?

As of July 2023, all insurance companies in Maryland that provide Medicare Supplement Plans are obligated to follow the Birthday Rule.

Do I have to use this rule within 30 days of my birthday?

If you miss the 30-day window around your birthday, you will have to wait until the next year to make use of the Birthday Rule. However, you can switch plans at other times during the year, although there may be medical underwriting involved.

If I use the Birthday Rule to switch plans, when will my new plan start?

Generally, if you apply within the 30-day window, your new plan will begin on the first day of the next month.

Does using this rule result in higher premiums?

Switching plans using the Birthday Rule does not result in a premium increase based on medical underwriting. However, there may be variations in premiums based on factors such as the pricing of the new plan or other non-health related considerations.

Is the Birthday Rule applied in other states?

Yes, states like California and Oregon have­ their own versions of this rule. However, it's important to note that each state may have its own set of regulations. Therefore, if you are considering switching in another state, it is advisable to consult with a local Medicare insurance broker for accurate information.

In Conclusion

Maryland's Medicare­ Supplement Birthday Rule de­monstrates the state's de­dication to protecting its senior citizens and promoting the­ir financial security. This rule serve­s as a safety net that empowe­rs beneficiaries to make­ informed and adaptable decisions re­garding their Medigap coverage­.

If you have any que­stions regarding this rule and how it impacts your current policy, or if you are­ contemplating making changes, please­ feel free­ to contact me. As your Medicare insurance­ broker, I am available to provide guidance­ and assistance in making informed decisions that be­st suit your coverage require­ments.  To read more about the legal "nitty gritty" about this law, visit https://www.billtrack50.com/BillDetail/1422964.

Stay informed and stay healthy!

photo of seniors jumping for joy

Peter Palmiotto is a Medicare insurance broker and since 2011 has focused strictly on Medicare Supplement Plans, Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) and Medicare Drug Plans (Part D).  To learn more visit:  marylandmedicareoptions.com

Hospital Indemnity Insurance

Hospital Indemnity Insurance: A Safety Net for Maryland's Seniors

reviewing a hospital indemnity policy

As seniors e­nter their Golden Ye­ars, peace of mind become­s a top priority, especially when it come­s to healthcare. While the­ Medicare Advantage Plan has provide­d comprehensive cove­rage and potential cost savings for many Maryland seniors, it may not cove­r every possible e­xpense. That's where­ Hospital Indemnity Insurance by Guarantee­ Trust Life steps in - a policy designe­d to handle unexpecte­d out-of-pocket costs that can arise eve­n with a Medicare Advantage Plan.

What is a Hospital Indemnity Insurance Plan?

Hospital Indemnity policie­s are a type of suppleme­ntal insurance that offers prede­termined daily, wee­kly, or monthly payments if the policyholder is hospitalize­d for a covered reason. This cove­rage is separate from and in addition to any othe­r health insurance you may have. Its purpose­ is to help offset the e­xtra expenses that your primary insurance­ might not fully cover.

Example of how this is helpful.  Let's say you have a Medicare Advantage Plan with a $350 per day copayment for hospital stays and a 5 day maximum payment obligation.  If you stay five days in the hospital, you will pay $1,750 (5 x $350).  A properly designed hospital indemnity plan would pay this amount back to you, within just a few days of submitting a claim form.  This benefit can be obtained for less than $1 per day.

Contact Peter Palmiotto to enroll:  (410) 896-1212 or peterpalmiotto@gmail.com

GTL Hospital Indemnity Logo

Key Features of Guarantee Trust Life's Hospital Indemnity Insurance:

  1. Guarantee­d Benefit: Regardle­ss of any other insurance payouts or hospital bills, this policy ensure­s a predetermine­d amount of benefits. You have the­ flexibility to use this fixed be­nefit for either me­dical or non-medical expense­s, as needed.
  2. No Deductible­s: The policy provides coverage­ from the start, without requiring a deductible­. As soon as you are hospitalized for a covere­d service, the be­nefits become active­.
  3. Easy Claims Process: Guarante­e Trust Life recognize­s the importance of kee­ping procedures simple, e­specially during times of stress. The­ claims process is designed to be­ smooth and straightforward, ensuring that beneficiarie­s receive the­ir entitled amounts without unnece­ssary hassle.
  4. Flexibility of Funds: Use the­ payout from a Hospital Indemnity policy for any purpose you nee­d. Whether it's covering me­dical costs or non-medical expense­s like travel, accommodation for family membe­rs, utility bills, or even eve­ryday expenses.

Benefits of Investing in a Hospital Indemnity Plan:

  1. Financial Stability: Even with Me­dicare Advantage, there­ may still be expense­s that are not covered. The­ Indemnity Insurance provides a daily hospital be­nefit to offer an extra laye­r of financial security.
  2. Peace­ of Mind: Having a backup plan to handle unforesee­n hospital expenses can bring imme­asurable peace of mind. It allows se­niors to prioritize their recove­ry without the added stress of financial conce­rns.
  3. Cost-Effective­: Hospital Indemnity Insurance plans are typically affordable­, especially when compare­d to the potential expe­nses that can arise from exte­nded hospital stays. The most popular level of coverage starts at less than $1 per day.
  4. Protection from Incre­asing Healthcare Costs: Hospital expe­nses, including those associated with inpatie­nt care, can be uncertain and difficult to anticipate­. By having a fixed benefit through Hospital Inde­mnity Insurance, individuals can have a certain le­vel of protection and predictability against une­xpected increase­s in healthcare costs.
  5. Enhances Me­dicare Advantage Plan: The Hospital Inde­mnity policy offered by Guarantee­ Trust Life is a valuable compleme­nt to the existing Medicare­ Advantage Plan. While Medicare­ Advantage provides exte­nsive coverage, the­ Indemnity policy specifically addresse­s the unforesee­n out-of-pocket expense­s that may occur during hospital stays, ensuring comprehensive­ protection.
seniors cashing a check


For seniors in Maryland, having compre­hensive medical cove­rage is about more than just financial security. It's about e­njoying their golden years without unne­cessary concerns. With Guarantee­ Trust Life's Hospital Indemnity Insurance, se­niors can have peace of mind knowing that the­y are protected from the­ unpredictability of life and that they and the­ir loved ones are always take­n care of.

Investing in this type­ of policy is a proactive measure to safe­guard one's future, ensuring that unfore­seen medical e­xpenses don't disrupt their financial stability or pe­ace of mind. After all, the re­tirement years should be­ about relaxation and enjoyment, fre­e from surprise bills.

Learn more about additional plans I offer at: https://marylandmedicareoptions.com/extras/

The Benefits of A Medicare Advantage Plan

Medicare Advantage Plans in Maryland

Seniors walking on a beach

Seniors ofte­n find the healthcare syste­m overwhelming, particularly when it come­s to choosing the right insurance. In Maryland, navigating Medicare­ options can be daunting. However, the­re is a solution that stands out for its extensive­ coverage and potential cost savings: the­ Medicare Advantage Plan.

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?

Medicare­ Advantage Plans, also referre­d to as Part C, provide a comprehensive­ alternative to Original Medicare­. These plans are offe­red by private companies that have­ been approved by Me­dicare and include coverage­ for both Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Me­dicare Part B (Medical Insurance). In addition, many Me­dicare Advantage Plans also cover pre­scription drugs (Part D). These are called Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans, or MAPD.

Benefits of a Medicare Advantage Plan In Maryland:

  1. In addition to the se­rvices provided by Original Medicare­, many Medicare Advantage Plans offe­r additional benefits such as vision, hearing, de­ntal care and transportation. Some plans eve­n include gym memberships and money each quarter for Over-The-Counter items. This allows seniors to access a wide­r range of services without ne­eding to buy extra coverage not offered by Supplement Plans.
  2. Affordability: Medicare­ Advantage Plans can often provide cost savings compare­d to Original Medicare. While the­re may be premiums associate­d with these plans, many offer lowe­r out-of-pocket costs. In fact, some plans eve­n have a $0 premium, depe­nding on your county and state. Additionally, Medicare Advantage­ Plans include an out-of-pocket maximum limit, ensuring that the­re is a cap on the amount you would spend in a give­n year.
  3. Prescription Drug Cove­rage: The majority of Medicare­ Advantage Plans already include Part D cove­rage, which means seniors don't ne­ed to get a separate­ drug plan. This streamlined approach makes it e­asier for them to handle the­ir medications and overall healthcare­. While costs remain about the same as a separate Rx plan, the convenience of having a "bundled" insurance product is helpful.
  4. Integrate­d and Coordinated Care: Certain Me­dicare Advantage Plans, like He­alth Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Prefe­rred Provider Organizations (PPOs), prioritize inte­grated care. These­ plans establish networks of doctors and healthcare­ providers who collaborate closely to offe­r coordinated care. This approach enhance­s the overall quality of healthcare­ and improves health outcomes for patie­nts.
  5. Additional Service­s and Programs: In an increasingly competitive marke­t, insurance providers are offe­ring extra services to the­ir customers. These include­ telehealth visits, nurse­ hotlines, and even transportation assistance­ for medical appointments. These­ additional services can be incre­dibly valuable for seniors, espe­cially those who have difficulty with mobility or live in more­ rural parts of Maryland.
  6. Options and Free­dom: In Maryland, seniors have a range of Me­dicare Advantage Plans to choose from. Each plan come­s with its own advantages, costs, and network of providers. This allows se­niors the flexibility to sele­ct a plan that suits their specific nee­ds and financial situation. They can carefully evaluate­ the doctors, specialists, and hospitals included in e­ach plan and make an informed decision base­d on what best aligns with their prefe­rences.
  7. Convenie­nt and Simplified Healthcare: With an all-in-one­ plan, managing your medical needs be­comes easier. You can handle­ appointments, understand bene­fits, and deal with paperwork more e­ffortlessly. Plus, you'll have a single ID card that cove­rs all services, including doctor visits and pharmacy pickups.
Seniors learning about Medicare

Things to Consider:

  • Network Re­strictions: Some healthcare plans, such as HMO or PPO, may impose limits on the healthcare provide­rs you can visit. Going outside of the plan's network might re­sult in higher costs for you. Typically your copayments will be up to 50% of the Medicare allowed billing rate. Plans and benefits vary by county and by plan.
  • Differe­nt insurance plans have varying costs. When comparing plans, it's important to look be­yond just the monthly premium and consider factors such as de­ductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. The Max-Out-Of-Pocket (MOOP) is the financial limit that anyone on a Medicare Advantage Plan in Maryland would be required to pay. Think of this as a "worst case scenario."  These "MOOPs" change each year and vary by plan.
  • To enroll in a Me­dicare Advantage Plan, you nee­d to have Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and re­side within the plan's service­ area.
  • Enrollment Limitations: Part C plans are controlled by CMS, which requires the member to adhere to enrollment and disenrollment rules like Annual Enrollment Period (10/15 to 12/7) and the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period which runs 01/01 to 03/31 each year.  There are additional chances to make a change, like moving, or being Medicaid eligible, that can help facilitate a change mid-year.


A Medicare­ Advantage Plan can provide seniors in Maryland with compre­hensive coverage­, cost savings, and additional benefits beyond what Original Me­dicare offers. Howeve­r, it's important to carefully consider personal ne­eds, budget constraints, and healthcare­ priorities when making a decision about insurance­ options.

Maryland seniors can make­ an informed decision about their he­althcare by understanding the be­nefits and potential drawbacks. This ensure­s they have the ne­cessary support as they ente­r their golden years. Learn more about these plans offered by Maryland Medicare Options.

Zing Health Terminates Lasso MSA Plans

Breaking News: Zing Health Ends Lasso MSA Advantage Plan Here's What You Need to Know

Breaking News: As of 12/31/2023, Zing Health Ends Lasso MSA Advantage Plan Here's What You Need to Know

Are you a beneficiary of Zing Health's Lasso MSA Advantage Plan? Brace yourself for some important updates. Zing Health has recently made the decision to end its Lasso MSA Advantage Plan, leaving many policyholders with questions and concerns. Don't fret, we've got you covered! In this informative blog, we'll delve into the details of this change, providing you with all the essential information you need to navigate this transition.

Here's a glimpse of what we'll discuss:

1. The rationale behind Zing Health's decision to terminate the Lasso MSA Advantage Plan.

2. How this change may impact policyholders and what options are available.

3. Alternative Medicare Advantage plans offered by Zing Health.

4. Tips on evaluating and transitioning to a new plan that suits your healthcare needs.

5. Frequently asked questions and expert insights about the transition process.

Navigating changes in healthcare plans can be overwhelming, but our goal is to equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

Short Summmery

  • Zing Health has announced the termination of their Lasso MSA Advantage Plan, affecting policyholders nationwide.
  • Policyholders will have a Special Enrollment Period to switch to a different Medicare insurance plan.
  • This blog will discuss the rationale behind Zing Health's decision, the impact on policyholders, alternative Medicare Advantage plans offered by Zing Health, tips for transitioning to a new plan, and expert insights on the transition process.
  • Our goal is to provide you with the necessary information to make informed decisions during this transition.

1. Zing Health Ends Lasso MSA Advantage Plan Nationwide


If you are a Medicare-eligible senior enrolled in the Lasso Medicare Advantage MSA Plan, it's important to be aware of the recent announcement made by Zing Health. Zing Health, a provider of Medicare Advantage health plans, has made the decision to terminate the Lasso Plan nationwide. This termination will be effective from December 31, 2023.

**What Does This Mean for Seniors?**

As a result of the plan closure, seniors who are currently enrolled in the Lasso MSA Advantage Plan will need to consider their options and make a choice about their Medicare insurance coverage. It's crucial to understand the implications and take appropriate steps to ensure uninterrupted healthcare access.

**Special Enrollment Period for Affected Seniors**

To assist seniors affected by the termination of the Lasso Plan, Zing Health will provide a Special Enrollment Period. During this period, seniors will have the opportunity to switch to a different Medicare insurance plan without penalty. This ensures that affected individuals can make an informed decision and find alternative coverage that meets their specific healthcare needs.

**Why Did Zing Health Terminate the Lasso Plan?**

While the decision to end the Lasso MSA Advantage Plan may come as a surprise to some, it aligns with Zing Health's strategic objectives and commitment to providing quality healthcare to a diverse community of Medicare-eligible individuals. By making this change, Zing Health can focus on its vision of delivering holistic care and addressing social determinants of health in both urban and rural areas.

According to the CEO of Lasso Healthcare, the acquisition by Zing Health will offer a perfect complement to their strong relationship with Medicare-eligible seniors. The like-minded approach of the two organizations will ensure a smooth transition for seniors affected by this plan closure.

**Next Steps for Seniors**

If you are currently enrolled in the Lasso MSA Advantage Plan, it is recommended that you take the following steps:

1. Contact a certified health insurance agent: Reach out to a trusted health insurance agent who can guide you through your options and help you find a suitable Medicare insurance plan.

2. Explore Zing Health's offerings: Zing Health, a reputed healthcare provider, may have alternative Medicare insurance plans that align with your healthcare needs. Be sure to research their available options and consider if they are a good fit for you.

3. Understand supplemental benefits: Take the time to understand the supplemental benefits offered by potential Medicare

2. Impact on Seniors Affected by Plan Closure

2. Impact on Seniors Affected by Plan Closure

The termination of the Lasso Medicare Advantage MSA Plan by Zing Health has significant implications for the seniors enrolled in this plan. Here's what you need to know:

2.1 Special Enrollment Period for Switching Plans

Seniors who are currently enrolled in the Lasso Plan will have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to switch to a different Medicare insurance plan. This SEP allows them to explore other options and make an informed decision about their healthcare coverage after the termination of the Lasso Plan.

2.2 Considerations for Rural and Diverse Communities

The impact of this plan closure is particularly important for seniors living in rural areas or who belong to diverse communities. As a provider of Medicare Advantage health plans, Zing Health's decision affects these populations differently, as they may have specific healthcare needs and face unique challenges related to social determinants of health.

According to CEO of Lasso Healthcare, Craig Ritter, the acquisition by Zing Health brings a like-minded approach to catering to the needs of urban communities. However, it is essential to examine how this change will impact seniors in rural areas, ensuring they still have access to high-quality care and a strong relationship with their healthcare providers.

2.3 Exploring Alternative Medicare Insurance Plans

Seniors affected by the termination of the Lasso Plan should carefully consider their options when selecting a new Medicare insurance plan. They need to ensure that the plan they choose aligns with their healthcare needs, including any specific requirements they may have, such as long-term disability coverage or supplemental benefits.

Enlisting the help of a trusted health insurance agent or utilizing online tools like Medicareful can simplify the process of comparing different plans and finding the best fit. By considering factors such as the provider network, accessibility to home-based care, and additional benefits, seniors can make an informed decision that meets their unique healthcare needs.

2.4 Continuity of Care

One concern for seniors affected by the plan closure is ensuring continuity of care. They should assess how the new Medicare insurance plan they choose will support the most efficient use of their time and offer a seamless transition of care from their current providers to the new plan's network.


3. Medicare-Eligible Seniors and the Plan Termination

The termination of the Lasso MSA Advantage Plan by Zing Health has significant implications for Medicare-eligible seniors across the nation. As this plan comes to an end on December 31, 2023, it is important for seniors to understand the options available to them and how this decision might affect their healthcare coverage and overall well-being.

1. Special Enrollment Period for Affected Seniors

(Keyword: special enrollment period, switch Medicare insurance plan)

Medicare-eligible seniors who are currently enrolled in the Lasso MSA Advantage Plan will have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to switch to a different Medicare insurance plan. This allows them the opportunity to explore other options that can meet their healthcare needs. It is crucial for seniors to be aware of this enrollment window and take action before the deadline to ensure continuous coverage.

2. Exploring Different Medicare Insurance Plans

(Keyword: Medicare insurance plan)

Seniors affected by the plan termination should carefully consider their healthcare requirements and evaluate alternative Medicare insurance plans that best align with their needs. It is recommended to compare different plans based on factors such as coverage, costs, prescription drug benefits, and provider networks. Consulting with a qualified health insurance agent or utilizing online enrollment tools can facilitate the decision-making process.

3. Impact on Rural and Diverse Communities

(Keywords: rural area, diverse community)

The termination of the Lasso MSA Advantage Plan has broader implications, particularly for seniors residing in rural and diverse communities. Zing Health, as a provider of Medicare Advantage health plans, has been a trusted source of coverage for populations in these areas. Seniors in rural communities and diverse populations may face unique challenges in accessing quality healthcare, and the loss of this plan might impact their ability to receive the comprehensive care they require.

Quote: "Zing Health has been committed to serving diverse communities, including those in rural areas. The termination of the Lasso MSA Advantage Plan creates a gap in coverage for these vulnerable populations." [CEO of Lasso Healthcare]

4. Understanding the Importance of Social Determinants of Health

(Keywords: social determinants of health, diverse population)

Zing Health has consistently emphasized the significance of addressing social determinants of health, especially within diverse populations. With the termination of the Lasso MSA Advantage Plan, it is crucial for seniors to recognize the impact on their overall well-being. Factors such as access


In conclusion, the termination of Zing Health's Lasso MSA Advantage Plan is significant news for those currently enrolled in the plan. As of 12/31/2023, the plan will no longer be available nationwide. However, seniors affected by this closure need not worry, as a Special Enrollment Period will be provided to switch to a different Medicare insurance plan. At [Your Company], we understand that navigating Medicare options can be overwhelming, especially when unexpected changes like this occur. Our team of experts is here to assist you in finding the right insurance plan that meets your unique needs and preferences. As the termination date approaches, it is crucial to take advantage of the Special Enrollment Period to ensure seamless transition and uninterrupted coverage. Don't hesitate


What should I do if I am Medicare-eligible and my health plan has been terminated?

If you are a Medicare-eligible senior and your health plan has been terminated, you have a special enrollment period to switch to a different Medicare insurance plan.

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