Health

General Health Articles

Many people do not have either a living will or an advance directive. This article outlines some issues that go into making these important decisions.
A federal law called the Affordable Care Act is creating a new way to get health insurance. Maryland has set up an online health insurance shopping site called Maryland Health Connection, to guide residents through the process.
The Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law (Sick & Safe Leave Law) requires employers to provide each employee with earned sick and safe leave for work performed in Montgomery County.
In Maryland, possession or use of less than 10 grams of marijuana is not a criminal offense. Possession or use of up to 10 grams of marijuana is still illegal, however, and carries civil penalties.
This page lists some programs for free or reduced price medications. Eligibility varies.
The Maryland Court of Appeals has held that medical care is the responsibility of the parent. This article outlines some rights in regard to minors.

Advance Directives

An advance directive (or living will) allows you to decide who you want to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.
What to do, what to give the student's new school and what to do if the transfer is denied.

Alcoholism/Substance Abuse

In Maryland, possession or use of less than 10 grams of marijuana is not a criminal offense. Possession or use of up to 10 grams of marijuana is still illegal, however, and carries civil penalties.

Disability Law

Guardianship is a court proceeding. When an adult is unable to make personal decisions, such as medical decisions, or to handle his or her own property, a court can appoint a guardian.
In Maryland, a guardian should only be appointed if there are no less restrictive alternatives. During the court guardianship proceeding, the court must first determine there is no less restrictive alternative available, so consider alternatives prior to beginning guardianship proceedings. This article lists some, but not all, available alternatives.
Establishing a guardianship is a formal, public, legal process. It is initiated when someone files a petition with a Maryland circuit court to be appointed guardian for an “alleged disabled person.” It should be noted that a disabled person is always an “alleged” disabled person until that person is determined by a court to be disabled, based on competent medical evidence, affidavits or opinions. Prior to that determination, a person is presumed to have capacity. If the court determines that a person is disabled, the court will appoint someone, most often an interested person, to serve as guardian, and issue an order setting out the terms and conditions of the appointment.
Interested persons play a pivotal role in guardianship proceedings. For example, only an interested person can petition for guardianship.
If the alleged disabled person does not already have an attorney, the court will appoint an attorney for the disabled person. This is required to ensure that the alleged disabled person’s due process rights are not violated during the guardianship proceedings.
This article discusses the Maryland Accessibility Code, which provides certain rights to individuals with disabilities and their families when they rent living space.
The Maryland Medical Assistance Program, also known as Medicaid, is a very important program for people with disabilities and provides many healthcare services that can enable people with disabilities to live in the community or return to the community from institutions such as hospitals or nursing homes. The Maryland Disability Law Center, the Protection & Advocacy System for the rights of Marylanders with disabilities, has a number of booklets on the services and programs available under Medical Assistance including one booklet concerning children’s services, one concerning services for adults, and one related to coverage of communication devices. All the booklets are available in Spanish translations.

Insurance

Maryland law requires certain benefits to be in health insurance policies. If an insurance company denies coverage for a treatment, consumers may appeal to the Maryland Insurance Administration.
A federal law called the Affordable Care Act is creating a new way to get health insurance. Maryland has set up an online health insurance shopping site called Maryland Health Connection, to guide residents through the process.

Medicaid/Medicare

Medical assistance in Maryland is provided through a large variety of state and federal programs. This overview provides basic information about four categories of help that are available, as well as links to more detailed information about specific programs. The four categories are Medicaid, Medicare, the Maryland Health Connection, and a set of state programs designed to help with prescription drugs.
Many older taxpayers have Medicare premiums deducted from their Social Security checks each month and forget to take the deduction at the end of the year.
This article answers frequently asked questions about medical assistance and nursing home care. Prepared by: Long Term Care Assistance Project, Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.
This program helps Maryland Residents enrolled in Medical Assistance, HealthChoice, Primary Adult Care (PAC), Family Planning, or Medicare Part D pay for medically necessary prescriptions.
The Maryland Medical Assistance Program, also known as Medicaid, is a very important program for people with disabilities and provides many healthcare services that can enable people with disabilities to live in the community or return to the community from institutions such as hospitals or nursing homes. The Maryland Disability Law Center, the Protection & Advocacy System for the rights of Marylanders with disabilities, has a number of booklets on the services and programs available under Medical Assistance including one booklet concerning children’s services, one concerning services for adults, and one related to coverage of communication devices. All the booklets are available in Spanish translations.
Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 or older, under 65 with certain disabilities, and any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). ESRD is permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services if you meet certain conditions.
Medicare Part C, also known as "Medicare Advantage" is an alternative to coverage under Medicare Parts A and B.
The Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program (SPDAP) is a subsidy program established by the Maryland General Assembly in 2005 to provide financial assistance to moderate-income Maryland residents who are eligible for Medicare and are enrolled in a prescription drug plan.

Nursing Homes/Assisted Living

Assisted living is a residential program that provides housing, supervision, personal care services, health related services, or a combination of these to residents who are unable to perform activities of daily living or who need help performing them.
This article answers frequently asked questions about medical assistance and nursing home care. Prepared by: Long Term Care Assistance Project, Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.
In Maryland, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) offer older adults a variety of services and care facilities, ranging from independent living arrangements to nursing home care. This article discusses the issues making a decision.
An ombudsman is a third party that acts to investigate and resolve complaints involving residents of long-term care facilities. The Ombudsman is an advocate whose goal is to promote the highest possible quality of life for residents.
Under the Medicaid Waiver, the federal government "waives" the requirement that services be provided in a nursing facility and pays for home and community based services for those who otherwise go to a nursing home.
This FAQ covers the rights of nursing home residents when the facility moves to discharge or transfer the resident.
This article describes the rights that nursing home residents have under state and federal law and regulations.
Issues to consider before you sign.
Residents of nursing homes have certain rights.
Your treatment, care and services must be adequate, appropriate, and promote your social, emotional, physical and spiritual health. For example, you have a right to a service plan based on an assessment of your needs; you also have a right to three meals and additional snacks each day.

Youth

The Children's Medical Services Program assists families in planning and obtaining specialty medical and rehabilitative care for children who have or are at risk for chronic illnesses or disabling conditions which interfere with normal growth and development.
In Maryland, possession or use of less than 10 grams of marijuana is not a criminal offense. Possession or use of up to 10 grams of marijuana is still illegal, however, and carries civil penalties.
The Maryland Court of Appeals has held that medical care is the responsibility of the parent. This article outlines some rights in regard to minors.