MHI – Medicare Blog

Q: What are Medicare demonstration projects?

Monday, March 6, 2017

A: Think of Medicare demonstration projects as laboratory experiments in a controlled environment. They provide opportunities to try out new policies in healthcare and payment delivery systems before making any permanent changes to the Medicare program. T ...

Q: Where can I learn more about Medicare’s quality ratings?

Monday, February 27, 2017

A: You’d probably not be surprised to learn that quality ratings for Part D and Medicare Advantage plans can be found at The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) use a five star rating system to categorize these plans a ...

Q: Are Social Security numbers being removed from Medicare cards?

Monday, February 20, 2017

A: Yes, but not right away. Social Security numbers will be removed from Medicare cards starting in April 2018.  This change is designed to protect private health care and financial information tied to Social Security numbers. People who qualify for ...

Q: How can I find out if Medicare covers a particular service?

Monday, February 13, 2017

A: The Medicare & You book provides general information about services covered under Part A and Part B.  If you are comfortable going online, go to and click on “Is my test, item, or service covered?” on the home page ...

Q: Can I sign up online for SSA and Medicare?

Monday, February 6, 2017

A: You can sign up online for your Social Security retirement and Medicare benefits. You can sign up for both at the same time or you can sign up separately. That’s a good thing since Medicare eligibility is still 65 and the age at which you can acc ...

Q: What happens if my Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t renew their contract with Medicare?

Monday, January 30, 2017

A: You still have options if the Medicare Advantage (MA) plan you had last year did not to renew their contract with Medicare. I’m not talking to those of you who already joined a plan during the October 15 – December 7 Medicare Open Enrollmen ...

Q: Can my Part D plan remove drugs from their formulary during the year?

Monday, January 23, 2017

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 10.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'} A: Part D plans are allowed to remove drugs from their formulary during the year. Removing a drug from the formulary, increasing it to a higher cost sharing tier or adding a restricti ...

Q: Does Medicare cover nursing home costs?

Monday, January 16, 2017

A: It’s a bit of a trick question. Medicare may pay for a short stay in a nursing home under very specific conditions but it will not pay at all if the only reason you are there is because you are no longer able to take care of yourself. In order fo ...

Q: What is the Medicare General Enrollment Period?

Monday, January 9, 2017

A: Think of it as your chance to do what you should have done during your Initial Enrollment Period. If you did not sign up for Part A and Part B when you were first eligible, you will not be able to enroll until the General Enrollment Period (GEP). The G ...

Q: Are there out-of-pocket limits on Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans?

Monday, December 19, 2016

A: Medicare Advantage plans have a maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) of $6,700 in 2017. This amount represents the most you would have to pay in copays and/or coinsurance for Medicare-covered health services in a calendar year. In the event you reach that amou ...

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