Maryland Department of Aging September News


Medicaid Coverage & You


Since the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) officially ended this year, Marylanders who turned 65 or older over the past three years could lose their Medicaid coverage if they now qualify for Medicare.

In Maryland, some 1.8 million residents, or about 1 in 4 people, receive Medicaid and are being re-evaluated for eligibility by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) because renewal is no longer automatic. Of the nearly half million Marylanders evaluated for renewal between April and July, 326,446 have retained Medicaid coverage, while 100,435 have been disenrolled from the program, according to MDH data released last month.

About two-thirds of those who have lost their Medicaid coverage are due to procedural issues such as a missed renewal deadline or an incomplete application. The other third no longer qualifies for Medicaid, either because they now make too much money for the low-income-focused program, or they have aged out and now qualify for Medicare.

Some Marylanders 65 and older may qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid assistance programs, depending on income and asset limits. In addition, the Maryland Health Connection offers a variety of low or no-cost coverage options for those who are no longer eligible for Medicaid.

If you are enrolled in Medicaid, be sure your contact information is up to date with the Department of Human Services at MyMDTHINK, call 800-332-6347, or with your local Department of Health. If you are unsure whether you qualify for Medicare or Medicaid or both, need help with the application, or want to better understand Maryland Health Connection offerings, contact your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) office where trained counselors are available to assist and help you navigate the process.

Senior Centers & Healthy Aging


In September, we celebrate both National Senior Center Month and Healthy Aging Month. These two celebrations work hand in hand as going to your local senior center is a great way to take charge of your health, learn new skills, and connect with others in your community.

Maryland's 117 senior centers, many of which are supported with grants from the Maryland Department of Aging (MDOA), offer a variety of innovative programs and services, including affordable fitness classes and evidence-based disease prevention and health education seminars.​ Other programs include nutrition and meal services, vaccination clinics, and transportation supports. 

MDOA Secretary Carmel Roques has been touring senior centers throughout the year and is excited to see how today's centers are reinventing themselves to meet the needs and desires of a growing and diverse older population. With Baby Boomers now making up more than two-thirds of the 50+ population and the Generation X population turning 60 in 2025, senior centers continue to find creative ways to serve both their traditional populations and to attract the coming generations of older adults. 

"We are seeing an unprecedented demographic shift of longer lifespans and improved health spans, which has spurred innovation as centers continue to find ways to attract a multigenerational population," said Department of Aging Secretary Carmel Roques. "Key programming changes, capital improvements, culturally relevant offerings, partnerships, and expanded outreach efforts are being implemented to adapt to this dynamic generation."

Earlier this year, Secretary Roques joined Governor Wes Moore in celebrating the grand opening of the Severn Center in Anne Arundel County, a newly designed facility that features a Senior Activity Center, a state-of-the-art Boys & Girls Club, and a flexible outdoor community space connecting the two. She has also visited Cumberland, Westernport and Frostburg Senior Centers in Allegany County, Holiday Park Senior Center in Montgomery County, and the Ellicott City 50+ Center in Howard County, with plans to visit the Sudlersville and Grasonville Senior Centers in Queen Anne's County this month.


Secretary Roques joined Governor Wes Moore and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pitman in May for the grand opening of the Severn Center in Anne Arundel County.

World Alzheimer's Awareness


World Alzheimer’s Month and World Alzheimer's Day (September 12) are held in September by Alzheimer’s Disease International, an organization founded by Alzheimer's associations in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada.

The aim of the month is to raise awareness of and challenge the stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s and support those suffering with dementia, as well as educate on the realities of dementia, combat misinformation, and lobby governments for better help and care.

These initiatives are incredibly relevant in Maryland as Baltimore and Prince George’s Counties are two of the top five counties in the United States with the greatest concentration of people living with Alzheimer's, according to data recently released by the Alzheimer's Association.

In an effort to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia, reduce strain on their unpaid caregivers, and enable people living with dementia to remain in their homes and communities, the Maryland Department of Aging has requested to participate in the recently announced nationwide initiative: Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) Model. The GUIDE Model, proposed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in June, addresses President Biden's April 2023 Executive Order on Increasing Access to High-Quality Care and Supporting Caregivers.

Set to launch in July 2024 and run for eight years, participants in the GUIDE Model will establish a comprehensive package of care coordination and care management, caregiver education and support, and respite services that provide ongoing, longitudinal care and support to people living with dementia through an interdisciplinary team. The GUIDE Model also aligns with the department's ongoing efforts to create a Multisector Plan for Aging (MPA) that will work to make Maryland the first longevity-ready and aging-friendly state. Be on the lookout over the coming months for exciting news and updates on both the department's GUIDE Model and MPA efforts.

Welcome Fall! (Not Falling)


As the first day of Fall approaches, so does Falls Prevention Awareness Week from September 18-22, 2023. This year's theme - From Awareness to Action - reminds us that it's important to be aware of your risk of falling and take action to prevent possible falls.

While falling is not a normal process of aging, it is a leading cause of injuries among older adults. To assess your risk of falling, take the online Falls Free CheckUp - a 13-question assessment designed by the National Coalition of Aging to help you better understand your risk for a fall. Based on your answers, you will be provided with resources and tangible action steps to help you gain the confidence and skills needed to prevent a fall. Suggestions may include reviewing your medications with your doctor, having your hearing or vision checked, taking steps to make your living environment safer, or adding strength and balance exercises to your daily routine.

Find additional falls prevention resources and safety tips, as well as falls prevention events taking place around the state, at our website

Medicare Fraud Affects Everyone


Did you know ten percent of all Medicare funds are lost due to fraud? To put that in perspective: The government spends $650 billion a year on Medicare, which means $65 billion a year is lost to Medicare fraud. 

In an effort to educate and raise awareness about Medicare fraud, the impact it has on society, and how to report it, September 12th has been named National Report Medicare Fraud Day.

What is Medicare Fraud?

Medicare Fraud occurs when a person or company knowingly tricks Medicare to receive inappropriate payment from the program. Types of Medicare fraud may include:

  • Billing for services or supplies that were not provided;
  • Providing unsolicited supplies to beneficiaries;
  • Misrepresenting a diagnosis, a beneficiary’s identity, the service provided, or other facts to justify payment;
  • Prescribing or providing excessive or unnecessary tests and services;
  • Violating the participating provider agreement with Medicare by refusing to bill Medicare for covered services or items and billing the beneficiary instead;
  • Offering or receiving a kickback (bribe) in exchange for a beneficiary’s Medicare number;
  • Requesting Medicare numbers at an educational presentation or in an unsolicited phone call; or
  • Routinely waiving co-insurance or deductibles (waivers are only allowed on a case-by-case basis where there is a financial hardship, not as an incentive to attract business).

How Do I Report Suspected Fraud?

If you suspect a Medicare fraud, contact Maryland Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), a program administered by the Maryland Department of Aging through its Area Agency on Aging network that can assist you in identifying and reporting health care fraud, waste, abuse, or error. Find your local SMP office at You can also contact Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or Medicare.govCLICK HERE for more information on Medicare fraud, scams, and abuse and how to recognize it and protect yourself.

HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day


National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAD) is held on September 18th to celebrate the growing number of older people living long, healthy, and active lives with HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half of adults living with HIV are over the age of 50, and by 2030, more than 70 percent of the HIV positive population in the United States will be over 50.

NHAAD is also a day to raise awareness of the continued risks of contracting HIV and to educate older adults on HIV prevention, testing, and early diagnosis and care. Sadly, HIV is newly diagnosed in thousands of people aged 50 and older every year due to several factors, including:

  1. Women past childbearing age are less likely to practice safer sex with condoms;
  2. Age-related thinning and dryness of vaginal tissue can raise older women’s risk for HIV infection;
  3. Older people are less likely than younger people to discuss their sexual or drug use behaviors with their doctors; and
  4. Doctors are not as likely to ask older patients about these health behaviors.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with HIV treatment or testing, contact Maryland Access Point at 1-844-627-5465 or 211 for local resources, including chronic disease management programs offered by Maryland's Area Agencies on Aging. To learn more about NHAAD go to Office of Aids Research with the National Institutes of Health.

More Days to Celebrate in September


September 4: Labor Day

The Maryland Department of Aging thanks the older generation of workers for their dedication towards building a better society for future generations to come. We appreciate all of your hard work in building our country and express our gratitude and admiration for your perseverance and wish you a very happy Labor Day.


September 10: Grandparent's Day

Happy Grandparent's Day to all the grandparents and other older adults in Maryland who are positive role models to younger generations. We at the Department of Aging especially recognize the 50,000 grandparents in Maryland who are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren, providing a sense of security and comfort when parents are unable to meet that need. If you are a grandparent, relative, or other friend taking care of grandchildren and need assistance, the Department of Human Services offers information and resources through its Kinship Caregiver program. Contact your local Department of Social Services or call 1-833-373-5867 to learn more. You can also reach out to your local Area Agency on Aging or Maryland Access Point for additional resources and support.


September 22: National Centenarian's Day

Happy National Centenarian's Day to the 1,542 people who are 100 years and older in Maryland (Source: 2020 US Census)! We celebrate those who have lived an entire century and are willing to share their wisdom, joys, and rich history with us. Please join us in honoring these valuable members of society who have seen the tragedies of the Great Depression and World Wars, the advent of the talking picture, the golden age of the radio and the invention of television, innovation of air travel, all the way to the exploration of space and the digital revolution — all in one lifetime.


September 29: National VFW Day

National VFW Day commemorates the hard work and sacrifice of veteran men and women who have selflessly served the United States of America. As of 2021, some 377,772 veterans were living in Maryland. If you have a personal relationship with a veteran or service member, take time to honor them for their sacrifice in whatever way you can. If you’re unable to provide hands-on support to a veteran yourself, consider donating or volunteering at organizations established to provide help to veterans. CLICK HERE for more ideas on how to thank a veteran.