Glossary

Please enjoy our listing of terms related to health care and ClaimAid.
The terms in this glossary are a combination of ClaimAid terms and ones provided on the HealthCare.gov website. 

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

A

  • Accreditation

If a Marketplace Health Plan is approved, this is the “seal of approval” given to the plan by an independent organization to show that the plan meets national quality standards.

  • Actuarial Value

The percentage of total average costs for covered benefits that a plan will cover.  For example, if a plan has an actuarial value of 70%, on average, you would be responsible for 30% of the costs of all covered benefits.  However, you could be responsible for a higher or lower percentage of the total costs of covered services for the year, depending on your actual health care needs and the terms of your insurance policy.

  • Advanced Premium Tax Credit

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides a new tax credit to help you afford health coverage purchased through the Marketplace.  Advance payments of the tax credit can be used right away to lower your monthly premium costs.   If you qualify, you may choose how much advance credit payments to apply toward your premiums each month, up to a maximum amount.  If the amount of advance credit payments you receive for the year is less than the tax credit you’re due, you’ll get the difference as a refundable credit when you file your federal income tax return.  If your advance payments for the year are more than the amount of your credit, you must repay the excess advance payments with your tax return.

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The comprehensive health care reform law was enacted in March 2010.  The law was enacted in two parts: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010 and was amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act on March 30, 2010.  The name “Affordable Care Act” is used to refer to the final, amended version of the law.

  • Affordable Coverage (as it relates to Advanced Premium Tax Credit or APTC)

Employer coverage is considered affordable if the employee’s share of the annual premium for self-only coverage is no greater than 9.5% of annual household income.  Starting in 2014, individuals offered employer-sponsored coverage that’s affordable and provides minimum value won’t be eligible for a premium tax credit.

  • Allowed Amount

Maximum amount on which payment is based for covered health care services.  This may be called “eligible expense,” “payment allowance” or “negotiated rate.”  If your provider charges more than the allowed amount, you may have to pay the difference.

  • Annual Deductible Combined

Usually in Health Savings Account (HSA) eligible plans, the total amount that family members on a plan must pay out-of-pocket for health care or prescription drugs before the health plan begins to pay.

  • Annual Limit

A cap on the benefits your insurance company will pay in a year while you’re enrolled in a particular health insurance plan.  These caps are sometimes placed on particular services such as prescriptions or hospitalizations. Annual limits may be placed on the dollar amount of covered services or on the number of visits that will be covered for a particular service.  After an annual limit is reached, you must pay all associated health care costs for the rest of the year.

  • Attest

When you apply for health coverage through the Marketplace, you’re required to agree (or “attest”) to the truth of the information provided by signing the application.

  • Authorized Representative

Someone who you choose to act on your behalf with the Marketplace, like a family member or other trusted person.  Some authorized representatives may have legal authority to act on your behalf.

B

  • Balance Billing

When a provider bills you for the difference between the provider’s charge and the allowed amount.  For example, if the provider’s charge is $100 and the allowed amount is $70, the provider may bill you for the remaining $30. A preferred provider may not balance bill you for covered services.

  • Benefits

The health care items or services covered under a health insurance plan. Covered benefits and excluded services are defined in the health insurance plan’s coverage documents.  In Medicaid or CHIP, covered benefits and excluded services are defined in state program rules.

  • Biosimilar Biological Products

The generic version of more complicated medications

  • Brand Name (Drugs)

A drug sold by a drug company under a specific name or trademark and is protected by a patent.  Brand name drugs may be available by prescription or over the counter.

C

  • Care Coordination

The organization of your treatment across several health care providers. Medical homes and Accountable Care Organizations are two common ways to coordinate care.

  • Catastrophic Health Plan

Health plans that meet all of the requirements applicable to other Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) but that don’t cover any benefits other than 3 primary care visits per year before the plan’s deductible is met.  The premium amount you pay each month for health care is generally lower than for other QHPs, but the out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, copayments and coinsurance are generally higher.  To qualify for a catastrophic plan, you must be under 30 years old OR get a “hardship exemption” because the Marketplace determined that you’re unable to afford health coverage.

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

The federal agency that runs the Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs and the federally facilitated Marketplace.  For more information, visit cms.gov.

  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Insurance program jointly funded by state and federal government that provides health coverage to low-income children and, in some states, pregnant women in families who earn too much income to qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford to purchase private health insurance coverage.

  • Chronic Disease Management

An integrated care approach to managing illness, which includes screenings, check-ups, monitoring and coordinating treatment and patient education.  It can improve your quality of life while reducing your health care costs if you have a chronic disease by preventing or minimizing the effects of a disease.

  • Claim

A request for payment that you or your health care provider submits to your health insurer when you get items or services you think are covered.

  • Claim Aid Self-Pay Solutions, LLC

The business of collecting self-pay patient balances will be increasingly important to your financial performance, as well as protecting the integrity of your patient relationships.  Yet with the expected increase of uninsured patients and limited resources, it can be difficult to meet both of these expectations.  ClaimAid Self-Pay Solutions was established solely for early-out collections and is not a collection agency.  With ClaimAid, you have a full-service partner to help you focus on what matters most—patient satisfaction and managing the increase in self-pay patients.  We offer comprehensive customized patient balance recovery solutions.  We call it our Early-Out Program.

  • Claims Resolution

Tailored solutions that assist hospitals and other providers in obtaining payments for the services they have provided, focusing on resolving medical insurance claims and patient satisfaction.

  • Client Service Representatives

Our personable and experienced client service representatives are there to partner with your school, enabling you to access professional services for School-Based Medicaid Billing.  They take care of all the details and answer any questions you might have in person, online or over the phone.  Their goal is to make sure you maintain program compliance mandates while ensuring your reimbursements and resulting in significant savings for your school district.

  • COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act)

A federal law that gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as job loss, transition between jobs, death, divorce and other life events.  Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage.

  • Coinsurance

Your share of the costs of a covered health care service, calculated as a percent (for example, 20%) of the allowed amount for the service.  You pay coinsurance plus any deductibles you owe.  For example, if the health insurance or plan’s allowed amount for an office visit is $100 and you’ve met your deductible, your coinsurance payment of 20% would be $20.  The health insurance or plan pays the rest of the allowed amount.

  • Community Rating

A rule that prevents health insurers from varying premiums within a geographic area based on age, gender, health status or other factors.

  • Compliance

The world of health care is a complex, challenging environment that demands a proactive compliance approach.  Compliance failures can result in significant legal issues and employee dissatisfaction.

  • Complication of Pregnancy

Conditions due to pregnancy, labor and delivery that require medical care to prevent serious harm to the health of the mother or the fetus.  Morning sickness and a non-emergency caesarean section are not considered complications of pregnancy.

  • Conversion

The ability, in some states, to switch your job-based coverage to an individual policy when you lose eligibility for job-based coverage.  Family members not covered under a job-based policy may also be able to convert to an individual policy if they lose dependent status (for example, after a divorce).

  • Co-op

A non-profit organization in which the company insures the same people who own the company.  Cooperatives can be formed at a national, state, or local level and can include doctors, hospitals and businesses as member-owners.  Co-ops will offer insurance through the Marketplace.

  • Coordination of Benefits

A way to figure out who pays first when two or more health insurance plans are responsible for paying the same medical claim.

  • Copayment

A fixed amount (for example, $15) you pay for a covered health care service, usually when you get the service.  The amount can vary by the type of covered health care service.

  • Cost Sharing

The share of costs covered by your insurance that you pay out of your own pocket.  This term generally includes deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments or similar charges, but it doesn’t include premiums, balance billing amounts for non-network providers or the cost of non-covered services.  Cost sharing in Medicaid and CHIP also includes premiums.

  • Cost Sharing Reduction

A discount that lowers the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket for deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.  You can get this reduction if you get health insurance through the Marketplace, your income is below a certain level and you choose a health plan from the Silver plan category (See Health Plan Categories).  If you’re a member of a federally recognized tribe, you may qualify for additional cost-sharing benefits.

  • Court Awards

Money that’s due to you as the result of a lawsuit.  This money may be taxable.  Examples of lawsuit proceeds that aren’t taxable are amounts awarded to you for personal physical injury or sickness and an amount you get as compensation for damages to your property if the payment is less than the amount you paid for the property.  Payments to compensate you for lost wages or punitive damages awards are examples of taxable court awards.

  • Creditable Coverage

Health insurance coverage under any of the following: a group health plan; individual health insurance; student health insurance; Medicare; Medicaid; CHAMPUS and TRICARE; the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; Indian Health Service; the Peace Corps; Public Health Plan (any plan established or maintained by a State, the U.S. government, a foreign country); Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or a state health insurance high risk pool.  If you have prior creditable coverage, it will reduce the length of a pre-existing condition exclusion period under new job-based coverage.

D

  • Deductible

The amount you owe for health care services your health insurance or plan covers before your health insurance or plan begins to pay.  For example, if your deductible is $1,000, your plan won’t pay anything until you’ve met your $1,000 deductible for covered health care services subject to the deductible.  The deductible may not apply to all services.

  • Dental Coverage

Benefits that help pay for the cost of visits to a dentist for basic or preventive services, like teeth cleaning, X-rays and fillings.  In the Marketplace, dental coverage is available either as part of a comprehensive medical plan, or by itself through a “stand-alone” dental plan.

  • Department of Health and Human Services

The federal agency that oversees CMS, which administers programs for protecting the health of all Americans, including Medicare, the Marketplace, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

  • Dependent

A child or other individual for whom a parent, relative or other person may claim a personal exemption tax deduction.  Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals may be able to claim a premium tax credit to help cover the cost of coverage for themselves and their dependents.

  • Dependent Coverage

Insurance coverage for family members of the policyholder, such as spouses, children or partners.

  • Disability

A limit in a range of major life activities.  This includes activities like seeing, hearing, walking and tasks like thinking and working.  Because different programs may have different disability standards, please check the program you’re interested in for its disability standards.  The list of activities mentioned above isn’t exhaustive.  A legal definition of disability can be found here: http://www.ada.gov/pubs/ada.htm.

  • Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH)

The Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Program provides adjustment payments to help hospitals that serve a significantly greater share of low-income patients.  Specifically, individual states receive an annual DSH allotment to cover the costs of DSH hospitals that provide care to low-income self-pay patients not covered by Medicaid, Medicare or other health insurance programs.

  • Donut Hole, Medicare Prescription Drug

Most plans with Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) have a coverage gap (called a “donut hole”).  This means that after you and your drug plan have spent a certain amount of money for covered drugs, you have to pay all costs out-of-pocket for your prescriptions up to a yearly limit.  Once you have spent up to the yearly limit, your coverage gap ends and your drug plan helps pay for covered drugs again.

  • Drug List

A list of prescription drugs covered by a prescription drug plan or another insurance plan offering prescription drug benefits.

  • Durable Medical Equipment (DME)

Equipment and supplies ordered by a health care provider for everyday or extended use. Coverage for DME may include: oxygen equipment, wheelchairs, crutches or blood testing strips for diabetics.

E

  • Early-Out Program

A customized program for hospitals and other providers established solely for early-out collections, but it is not a collection agency.  A program that establishes the parameters from which accounts to refer to the approach you would like to take in identifying appropriate payment options.

  • Early Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment Services (EPSDT)

A term used to refer to the comprehensive set of benefits covered for children in Medicaid.

  • Eligibility Assessment

In certain states, the Marketplace doesn’t provide the final decision on Medicaid eligibility.  Instead, the Marketplace conducts an assessment and passes the application to the State Medicaid agency to conduct a final eligibility determination.

  • Eligible Immigration Status

An immigration status that’s considered eligible for getting health coverage through the Marketplace.  The rules for eligible immigration status may be different in each insurance affordability program.

  • Emergency Medical Condition

An illness, injury, symptom or condition so serious that a reasonable person would seek care right away to avoid severe harm.

  • Emergency Medical Transportation

Ambulance services for an emergency medical condition.

  • Emergency Room Care

Emergency services you get in an emergency room.

  • Emergency Services

Evaluation of an emergency medical condition and treatment to keep the condition from getting worse.

  • Employer Shared Responsibility Payment  (Employer Mandate)

The Affordable Care Act requires certain employers with at least 50 full-time employees (or equivalents) to offer health insurance coverage to its full-time employees (and their dependents) that meets certain minimum standards set by the Affordable Care Act or to make a tax payment called the ESRP.  This payment can be as much as $3,000 per employee if they don’t provide affordable insurance.  The Obama administration stated that it would not begin enforcing this part of the law until 2015.  The “individual mandate” that requires people to acquire coverage remains in effect.

  • Employer or Union Retiree Plans Essential Health Benefits

Plans that provide health and/or drug coverage to former employees or members, and, in some cases, their families.  These plans are offered to people through their (or a spouse’s) former employer or employee organization.  Many of these plans aren’t legally required to meet many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including providing coverage for children up to age 26.

  • Essential Health Benefits

A set of health care service categories that must be covered by certain plans, starting in 2014.  The Affordable Care Act ensures health plans offered in the individual and small group markets, both inside and outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace, offer a comprehensive package of items and services, known as essential health benefits.  Essential health benefits must include items and services within at least the following 10 categories: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.  Insurance policies must cover these benefits in order to be certified and offered in the Health Insurance Marketplace, and all Medicaid state plans must cover these services by 2014.

  • Excluded Services

Health care services that your health insurance or plan doesn’t pay for or cover.

  • Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) Plan

A managed care plan where services are covered only if you go to doctors, specialists or hospitals in the plan’s network (except in an emergency).

  • External Review

A review of a plan’s decision to deny coverage for or payment of a service by an independent third-party not related to the plan.  If the plan denies an appeal, an external review can be requested. In urgent situations, an external review may be requested even if the internal appeals process isn’t yet completed.  External review is available when the plan denies treatment based on medical necessity, appropriateness, health care setting, level of care, or effectiveness of a covered benefit, when the plan determines that the care is experimental and/or investigational, or for rescissions of coverage.  An external review either upholds the plan’s decision or overturns all or some of the plan’s decision.  The plan must accept this decision.

 F

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

A Federal law that guarantees up to 12 weeks of job protected leave for certain employees when they need to take time off due to serious illness or disability, to have or adopt a child, or to care for another family member. When on leave under FMLA, you can continue coverage under your job-based plan.

  • Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

A measure of income level issued annually by the Department of Health and Human Services.  Federal poverty levels are used to determine your eligibility for certain programs and benefits.

  • Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)

Federally funded nonprofit health centers or clinics that serve medically underserved areas and populations.  Federally qualified health centers provide primary care services regardless of your ability to pay.  Services are provided on a sliding scale fee based on your ability to pay.

  • Federally Recognized Tribe

Any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village or community that the Department of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe.

  • Fee

Starting January 1, 2014, if someone doesn’t have a health plan that qualifies as minimum essential coverage, he or she may have to pay a fee that increases every year: from 1% of income (or $95 per adult, whichever is higher) in 2014 to 2.5% of income (or $695 per adult) in 2016.  The fee for children is half the adult amount.  The fee is paid on the 2014 federal income tax form, which is completed in 2015.  Individuals with very low incomes and others may be eligible for waivers.

  • Fee For Service

A method in which doctors and other health care providers are paid for each service performed. Examples of services include tests and office visits.

  • Flexible Benefits Plan

A benefit program that offers employees a choice between various benefits including cash, life insurance, health insurance, vacations, retirement plans, and childcare.  Although a common core of benefits may be required, you can choose how your remaining benefit dollars are to be allocated for each type of benefit from the total amount promised by the employer.  Sometimes you can contribute more for additional coverage.  Also known as a Cafeteria plan or IRS 125 Plan.

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

An arrangement you set up through your employer to pay for many of your out-of-pocket medical expenses with tax-free dollars.  These expenses include insurance copayments and deductibles, and qualified prescription drugs, insulin and medical devices.  You decide how much of your pre-tax wages you want taken out of your paycheck and put into an FSA.  You don’t have to pay taxes on this money.  Your employer’s plan sets a limit on the amount you can put into an FSA each year.  There is no carry-over of FSA funds.  This means that FSA funds you don’t spend by the end of the plan year can’t be used for expenses in the next year.  An exception is if your employer’s FSA plan permits you to use unused FSA funds for expenses incurred during a grace period of up to 2.5 months after the end of the FSA plan year.

  • Full-Time Employee

An employee who works an average of at least 30 hours per week (so part-time would be less than 30 hours per week).

  • Fully Insured Job-Based Plan

A health plan purchased by an employer from an insurance company.

  • Full-Service Enrollment

The Affordable Care Act combines multiple health care reimbursement programs into the Health Insurance Marketplace.  Individuals and families may now qualify for premium tax credit commercial insurance, cost sharing assistance, Medicaid or a combination of these.  The current Medicaid enrollment processes and procedures will remain in place along with the new Marketplace.

G

  • Generic Drugs

A prescription drug that has the same active-ingredient formula as a brand-name drug.  Generic drugs usually cost less than brand-name drugs.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rates these drugs to be as safe and effective as brand-name drugs.

  • Grandfathered

As used in connection with the Affordable Care Act: Exempt from certain provisions of this law.

  • Grandfathered Health Plan

As used in connection with the Affordable Care Act: A group health plan that was created—or an individual health insurance policy that was purchased—on or before March 23, 2010.  Grandfathered plans are exempted from many changes required under the Affordable Care Act.  Plans or policies may lose their “grandfathered” status if they make certain significant changes that reduce benefits or increase costs to consumers.  A health plan must disclose in its plan materials whether it considers itself to be a grandfathered plan and must also advise consumers how to contact the U.S. Department of Labor or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with questions. (Note: If you are in a group health plan, the date you joined may not reflect the date the plan was created. New employees and new family members may be added to grandfathered group plans after March 23, 2010).

  • Grievance

A complaint that you communicate to your health insurer or plan.

  • Group Health Plan

In general, a health plan offered by an employer or employee organization that provides health coverage to employees and their families.

  • Guaranteed Issue

A requirement that health plans must permit you to enroll regardless of health status, age, gender or other factors that might predict the use of health services.  Except in some states, guaranteed issue doesn’t limit how much you can be charged if you enroll.

  • Guaranteed Renewal

A requirement that your health insurance issuer must offer to renew your policy as long as you continue to pay premiums.  Except in some states, guaranteed renewal doesn’t limit how much you can be charged if you renew your coverage.

H

  • Habilitation Services

Health care services that help you keep, learn or improve skills and functioning for daily living.  Examples include therapy for a child who isn’t walking or talking at the expected age.  These services may include physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and other services for people with disabilities in a variety of inpatient and/or outpatient settings.

  • Hardship Exemption

Under the Affordable Care Act, most people must pay a fee if they don’t have health coverage that qualifies as “minimum essential coverage”.  One exception is based on showing that a “hardship” prevented them from becoming insured.

  • Health Care Workforce Incentive

The use of incentives and recruiting to encourage people to enter into health care professions like primary care and to encourage providers to practice in underserved areas.

  • Health Coverage

Legal entitlement to payment or reimbursement for your health care costs, generally under a contract with a health insurance company, a group health plan offered in connection with employment, or a government program like Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

  • Health Insurance

A contract that requires your health insurer to pay some or all of your health care costs in exchange for a premium.

  • Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP)

The Health Indiana Plan (HIP) is a health insurance plan sponsored by the state of Indiana for uninsured adult Hoosiers between the ages of 19 and 64 years of age.  It currently has slots available for adults that are responsible for dependent children in their home, do not have access to insurance by an employer and have not had health coverage for 6 months.  Individuals must earn less than 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL).  For example, for a household of four, the annual income maximum is $47,100.00.  Participants may pay between 2% and 4.5% of their gross income for their share of the monthly contribution.  The exact cost depends on the income and family size.  HIP offers full health benefits including hospital services, mental health care, physician services, prescriptions, diagnostic exams and disease management.  All preventative services are free.  HIP does not cover pregnancy services as those services are covered under the Hoosier Healthwise program (HHW), nor does it cover vision or dental services.

  • Health Insurance Marketplace  (Exchanges)

A resource where individuals, families and small businesses can learn about their health coverage options; compare health insurance plans based on costs, benefits and other important features; choose a plan; and enroll in coverage.  The Marketplace also provides information on programs that help people with low to moderate income and resources pay for coverage.  This includes ways to save on the monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs of coverage available through the Marketplace and information about other programs, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  The Marketplace encourages competition among private health plans and is accessible through websites, call centers and in-person assistance. In some states, the Marketplace is run by the state. In others, it is run by the federal government.

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

A type of health insurance plan that usually limits coverage to care from doctors who work for or contract with the HMO.  It generally won’t cover out-of-network care except in an emergency.  An HMO may require you to live or work in its service area to be eligible for coverage.  HMOs often provide integrated care and focus on prevention and wellness.

  • Health Plan Categories

Plans in the Marketplace are primarily separated into four health plan categories — Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum — based on the percentage the plan pays of the average overall cost of providing essential health benefits to members.  The plan category you choose affects the total amount you’ll likely spend for essential health benefits during the year.  The percentages the plans will spend, on average, are 60% (Bronze), 70% (Silver), 80% (Gold) and 90% (Platinum).  This isn’t the same as coinsurance, in which you pay a specific percentage of the cost of a specific service.

  • Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)

Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) are employer-funded group health plans from which employees are reimbursed tax-free for qualified medical expenses up to a fixed dollar amount per year. Unused amounts may be rolled over to be used in subsequent years.  The employer funds and owns the account.

  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

The primary Federal agency for improving access to health care services for individuals who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.

  • Health Savings Account (HSA)

A medical savings account available to taxpayers who are enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan.  The funds contributed to the account aren’t subject to federal income tax at the time of deposit.  Funds must be used to pay for qualified medical expenses.  Unlike a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), funds roll over year to year if you don’t spend them.

  • Health Status

Refers to your medical conditions (both physical and mental health), claims experience, receipt of health care, medical history, genetic information, evidence of insurability and disability.

  • High-Cost Excise Tax

Under the Affordable Care Act starting in 2018, a tax on insurance companies that provide high-cost plans. This tax encourages streamlining of health plans to make premiums more affordable.

  • High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

A plan that features higher deductibles than traditional insurance plans.  High deductible health plans (HDHPs) can be combined with a health savings account or a health reimbursement arrangement to allow you to pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses on a pre-tax basis.

  • High Risk Pool Plan (State)

Similar to the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan under the Affordable Care Act, for years many states have offered plans that provide coverage if you have been locked out of the individual insurance market because of a pre-existing condition.  High-risk pool plans may also offer coverage if you’re HIPAA eligible or meet other requirements.  High-risk pool plans offer health insurance coverage that is subsidized by a state government.  Typically, your premium is up to twice as much as you would pay for individual coverage if you were healthy.

  • HIPAA Eligible Individual

Your status once you have had 18 months of continuous creditable health coverage.  To be HIPAA eligible, at least the last day of your creditable coverage must have been under a group health plan; you also must have used up any COBRA or state continuation coverage; you must not be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid; you must not have other health insurance; and you must apply for individual health insurance within 63 days of losing your prior creditable coverage.  When you’re buying individual health insurance, HIPAA eligibility gives you greater protections than you would otherwise have under state law.

  • Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)

Services and support provided by most state Medicaid programs in your home or community that gives help with such daily tasks as bathing or dressing.  This care is covered when provided by care workers or, if your state permits it, by your family.

  • Home Health Care

Health care services a person receives at home.

  • Hoosier Healthwise Program (HHW)

Hoosier Healthwise is a health insurance program for Indiana children, pregnant women and low-income families.  Health care is provided at little to not cost to Indiana families enrolled in the program.  In order to qualify, you must be a resident of the state of Indiana, under 19 years of age, not covered by health insurance (including Medicaid) and a U.S. national, citizen, legal alien or permanent resident.

  • Hospice Services

Services to provide comfort and support for persons in the last stages of a terminal illness and their families.

  • Hospital Outpatient Care

Care in a hospital that usually doesn’t require an overnight stay.

  • Hospital Readmissions

A situation where you were discharged from the hospital and wind up going back in for the same or related care within 30, 60 or 90 days.  The number of hospital readmissions is often used in part to measure the quality of hospital care, since it can mean that your follow-up care wasn’t properly organized or that you weren’t fully treated before discharge.

  • Hospitalization

Care in a hospital that requires admission as an inpatient and usually requires an overnight stay. An overnight stay for observation could be outpatient care.

I

  • Indiana Navigator Program

The Indiana Navigator Program, established through the Indiana Department of Insurance, helps those who complete Medicaid applications for others.  For example, ClaimAid staff are certified by the state of Indiana to complete Medicaid applications and by the federal Health Insurance Marketplace for enrollment assistance in tax subsidized commercial insurance plans.  This includes the required background checks, training, testing and annual continuing education for both the state and federal programs.

  • Individual Health Insurance Policy

Policies for people that aren’t connected to job-based coverage.  Individual health insurance policies are regulated under state law.

  • In-network Coinsurance

The percent (for example, 20%) you pay of the allowed amount for covered health care services to providers who contract with your health insurance or plan.  In-network coinsurance usually costs you less than out-of-network coinsurance.

  • In-network Copayment

A fixed amount (for example, $15) you pay for covered health care services to providers who contract with your health insurance or plan. In-network copayments usually are less than out-of-network copayments.

  • Inpatient Care

Health care that you get when you’re admitted as an inpatient to a health care facility, like a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

  • Insurance Co-op

A non-profit entity in which the same people who own the company are insured by the company. Cooperatives can be formed at a national, state or local level, and can include doctors, hospitals and businesses as member-owners.

J

  • Job-based Health Plan

Coverage that is offered to an employee (and often his or her family) by an employer.

L

  • Large Group Health Plan

In general, a group health plan that covers employees of an employer that has 101 or more employees.  Until 2016, in some states large groups are defined as 51 or more.

  • Lifetime Limit

A cap on the total lifetime benefits you may get from your insurance company. An insurance company may impose a total lifetime dollar limit on benefits (like a $1 million lifetime cap) or limits on specific benefits (like a $200,000 lifetime cap on organ transplants or one gastric bypass per lifetime) or a combination of the two.  After a lifetime limit is reached, the insurance plan will no longer pay for covered services.

  • Long-Term Care

Services that include medical and non-medical care provided to people who are unable to perform basic activities of daily living such as dressing or bathing.  Long-term supports and services can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living or in nursing homes.  Individuals may need long-term supports and services at any age.  Medicare and most health insurance plans don’t pay for long-term care.

M

  • Medicaid

A state-administered health insurance program for low-income families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with disabilities, and in some states, other adults.  The Federal government provides a portion of the funding for Medicaid and sets guidelines for the program. States also have choices in how they design their program, so Medicaid varies state by state and may have a different name in your state.

  • Medicaid Expansion

The Affordable Care Act calls for a nationwide expansion of Medicaid eligibility set to begin in 2014.  As the law was written, nearly all U.S. Citizens under 65 years old with family incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($30,675 for a family of four in 2012) will now qualify for Medicaid.  The Supreme Court upheld the Medicaid expansion in a ruling in June 2012, but limited the federal government’s ability to penalize states that don’t comply.  Therefore, now it is effectively optional.

  • Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)

A basic financial measurement used in the Affordable Care Act to encourage health plans to provide value to enrollees.  If an insurer uses 80 cents out of every premium dollar to pay its customers’ medical claims and activities that improve the quality of care, the company has a medical loss ratio of 80%.  A medical loss ratio of 80% indicates that the insurer is using the remaining 20 cents of each premium dollar to pay overhead expenses, such as marketing, profits, salaries, administrative costs, and agent commissions.  The Affordable Care Act sets minimum medical loss ratios for different markets, as do some state laws.

  • Medical Underwriting

A process used by insurance companies to try to figure out your health status when you’re applying for health insurance coverage to determine whether to offer you coverage, at what price and with what exclusions or limits.

  • Medically Necessary

Health care services or supplies needed to prevent, diagnose or treat an illness, injury, condition, disease or its symptoms and that meet accepted standards of medicine.

  • Medicare

A Federal health insurance program for people who are age 65 or older and certain younger people with disabilities.  It also covers people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD).

  • Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C)

A type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits.  Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans.  If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare.  Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage.

  • Medicare Hospital Insurance Tax

A tax under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) that is a United States payroll tax imposed by the Federal government on both employees and employers to fund Medicare.

  • Medicare Part D

A program that helps pay for prescription drugs for people with Medicare who join a plan that includes Medicare prescription drug coverage.  There are two ways to get Medicare prescription drug coverage: through a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes drug coverage.  These plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare.

  • Medicare Prescription Drug Donut

Most plans with Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) have a coverage gap (called a “donut hole”).  This means that after you and your drug plan have spent a certain amount of money for covered drugs, you have to pay all costs out-of-pocket for your prescriptions up to a yearly limit.  Once you have spent up to the yearly limit, your coverage gap ends and your drug plan helps pay for covered drugs again.

  • Member Survey Results

A survey conducted by the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), which ask health plan members to rate the care, their experiences with their health plan and its services.

  • Minimum Essential Coverage

The type of coverage an individual needs to have to meet the individual responsibility requirement under the Affordable Care Act. This includes individual market policies, job-based coverage, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE and certain other coverage.

  • Minimum Value

A health plan meets this standard if it’s designed to pay at least 60% of the total cost of medical services for a standard population.  Starting in 2014, individuals offered employer-sponsored coverage that provides minimum value and that’s affordable won’t be eligible for a premium tax credit.

  • Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)

The figure used to determine eligibility for lower costs in the Marketplace and for Medicaid and CHIP. Generally, modified adjusted gross income is your adjusted gross income plus any tax-exempt Social Security, interest or foreign income you have.

  • Multi-Employer Plan

In general, a group health plan that’s sponsored jointly by two or more employers.

N

  • Network

The facilities, providers and suppliers your health insurer or plan has contracted with to provide health care services.

  • New Plan

As used in connection with the Affordable Care Act: A health plan that is not a grandfathered health plan and therefore subject to all of the reforms in the Affordable Care Act.  In the individual health insurance market, a plan that your family is purchasing for the first time will generally be a new plan.  In the group health insurance market, a plan that your employer is offering for the first time will generally be a new plan.  Please note that new employees and new family members may be added to existing grandfathered group plans – so a plan that is “new to you” and your family may still be a grandfathered plan.  In both the individual and group markets, a plan that loses its grandfathered status will be considered a new plan.  A plan loses its grandfathered status when it makes significant changes to the plan, such as reducing benefits or increasing cost-sharing for enrollees.  A health plan must disclose in its plan materials whether it considers itself to be a grandfathered plan and must also advise consumers how to contact the U.S. Department of Labor or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with questions.

  • Nondiscrimination

A requirement that job-based coverage not discriminate based on health status.  Coverage under job-based plans cannot be denied or restricted.  You also can’t be charged more because of your health status.  Job-based plans can restrict coverage based on other factors such as part-time employment that aren’t related to health status.

  • Non-preferred provider

A provider who doesn’t have a contract with your health insurer or plan to provide services to you.  You’ll pay more to see a non-preferred provider. Check your policy to see if you can go to all providers who have contracted with your health insurance or plan, or if your health insurance or plan has a “tiered” network and you must pay extra to see some providers.

  • Not Yet Accredited (Health Plan)

A plan that hasn’t been given a “seal of approval” by an independent company to show it meets national quality standards for health plans.  There are many reasons why a health plan may not be accredited.  For example, some plans have never gone through the accreditation process or have gone through the process with a different accrediting organization.  Other plans are too new to be accredited or have started but not finished the accreditation process.  Not being accredited doesn’t mean that a plan is lower quality than a plan that’s accredited.

  • Notice

An official form of communication that informs individuals about the status of their applications, their eligibility for programs, or other important information.  Notices may be sent by the Marketplace or by health insurers.

O

  • Open Enrollment Period

The period of time during which individuals who are eligible to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan can enroll in a plan in the Marketplace.  For 2014, the Open Enrollment Period is October 1, 2013–March 31, 2014.  For 2015 and later years, the Open Enrollment Period is October 15 to December 7 of the previous year.  Individuals may also qualify for Special Enrollment Periods outside of Open Enrollment if they experience certain events.  You can submit an application for health coverage outside of the Marketplace, or apply for Medicaid or CHIP, at any time of the year.

  • Original Medicare

Original Medicare is fee-for-service coverage under which the government pays your health care providers directly for your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Part B (Medical Insurance) benefits.

  • Out-of-Network Coininsurance

The percentage (for example, 40%) you pay of the allowed amount for covered health care services to providers who don’t contract with your health insurance or plan.  Out-of-network coinsurance usually costs you more than in-network coinsurance.

  • Out-of-Network Copayment

A fixed amount (for example, $30) you pay for covered health care services from providers who don’t contract with your health insurance or plan.  Out-of-network copayments usually are more than in-network copayments.

  • Out-of-Pocket Costs

Your expenses for medical care that aren’t reimbursed by insurance.  Out-of-pocket costs include deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments for covered services plus all costs for services that aren’t covered.

  • Out-of-Pocket Estimate

An estimate of the amount that you may have to pay on your own for health care or prescription drug costs.  The estimate is made before your health plan has processed a claim for that service.

  • Out-of-Pocket maximum/limit

The most you pay during a policy period (usually a year) before your health insurance or plan begins to pay 100% of the allowed amount.  This limit never includes your premium, balance-billed charges, or health care your health insurance or plan doesn’t cover.  Some health insurance or plans don’t count your copayments, deductibles, coinsurance payments, out-of-network payments, or other expenses toward this limit. In Medicaid and CHIP, the limit includes premiums.

P

  • Patient advocate

Often patients and their families are facing difficult decisions or serious life-threatening issues.  Financially for patients, this prolonged process can be an intimidating ordeal, maybe even hopeless.  The primary challenge is providing the best financial assistance, while maintaining their dignity.  Our highly compassionate patient advocates use their insight and expertise to quickly and directly connect with patients by taking each screening and enrollment case personally, in a timely manner and creating solutions that benefit everyone involved.

  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Research that compares different medical treatments and interventions to provide evidence on which strategies are most effective in different populations and situations.  The goal is to empower you and your doctor with additional information to make sound health care decisions.

  • Payment Bundling

A payment structure in which different health care providers who are treating you for the same or related conditions are paid an overall sum for taking care of your condition rather than being paid for each individual treatment, test or procedure.  In doing so, providers are rewarded for coordinating care, preventing complications and errors and reducing unnecessary or duplicative tests and treatments.

  • Pension (Retirement Benefit)

A payment or series of payments made to you after you retire from work. Generally, the amount of your income from a pension or retirement account distribution depends on the type of pension or retirement account, how much you contributed to the pension or retirement account, and whether you were already taxed on the amounts you contributed.

  • Physician Services

Health care services a licensed medical physician (M.D. – Medical Doctor or D.O. – Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) provides or coordinates.

  • Plan

A benefit your employer, union or other group sponsor provides to you to pay for your health care services.

  • Plan Year

A 12-month period of benefits coverage under a group health plan.  This 12-month period may not be the same as the calendar year. To find out when your plan year begins, you can check your plan documents or ask your employer.  (Note: For individual health insurance policies this 12-month period is called a “policy year”.)

  • Point of Service (POS) Plans

A type of plan in which you pay less if you use doctors, hospitals and other health care providers that belong to the plan’s network.  POS plans also require you to get a referral from your primary care doctor in order to see a specialist.

  • Policy Year

A 12-month period of benefits coverage under an individual health insurance plan.  This 12-month period may not be the same as the calendar year.  To find out when your policy year begins, you can check your policy documents or contact your insurer. (Note: In group health plans, this 12-month period is called a “plan year”.)

  • Preauthorization

A decision by your health insurer or plan that a health care service, treatment plan, prescription drug or durable medical equipment is medically necessary. Sometimes called prior authorization, prior approval or precertification. Your health insurance or plan may require preauthorization for certain services before you receive them, except in an emergency. Preauthorization isn’t a promise your health insurance or plan will cover the cost.

  • Pre-Existing Condition

A health problem you had before the date that new health coverage starts.

  • Pre-Existing Condition (Job-based Covered)

Any condition (either physical or mental) including a disability for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received within the 6-month period ending on your enrollment date in a health insurance plan.  Genetic information, without a diagnosis of a disease or a condition, cannot be treated as a pre-existing condition.  Pregnancy cannot be considered a pre-existing condition and newborns, newly adopted children and children placed for adoption who are enrolled within 30 days cannot be subject to pre-existing condition exclusions.

  • Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion Period (Individual Policy)

The time period during which an individual policy won’t pay for care relating to a pre-existing condition.  Under an individual policy, conditions may be excluded permanently (known as an “exclusionary rider”).  Rules on pre-existing condition exclusion periods in individual policies vary widely by state.

  • Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion Period (Job-based Coverage)

The time period during which a health plan won’t pay for care relating to a pre-existing condition.  Under a job-based plan, this cannot exceed 12 months for a regular enrollee or 18 months for a late-enrollee.

  • Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP)

A type of health plan that contracts with medical providers, such as hospitals and doctors, to create a network of participating providers.  You pay less if you use providers that belong to the plan’s network. You can use doctors, hospitals, and providers outside of the network for an additional cost.

  • Preferred Provider

A provider who has a contract with your health insurer or plan to provide services to you at a discount.  Check your policy to see if you can see all preferred providers or if your health insurance or plan has a “tiered” network and you must pay extra to see some providers. Your health insurance or plan may have preferred providers who are also “participating” providers. Participating providers also contract with your health insurer or plan, but the discount may not be as great, and you may have to pay more.

  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

A provider who has a contract with your health insurer or plan to provide services to you at a discount. Check your policy to see if you can see all preferred providers or if your health insurance or plan has a “tiered” network and you must pay extra to see some providers. Your health insurance or plan may have preferred providers who are also “participating” providers.  Participating providers also contract with your health insurer or plan, but the discount may not be as great, and you may have to pay more.

  • Premium

The amount that must be paid for your health insurance or plan.  You and/or your employer usually pay it monthly, quarterly or yearly.

  • Premium Tax Credit

The Affordable Care Act provides a new tax credit to help you afford health coverage purchased through the Marketplace.  Advance payments of the tax credit can be used right away to lower your monthly premium costs.  If you qualify, you may choose how much advance credit payments to apply to your premiums each month, up to a maximum amount.  If the amount of advance credit payments you get for the year is less than the tax credit you’re due, you’ll get the difference as a refundable credit when you file your federal income tax return.  If your advance payments for the year are more than the amount of your credit, you must repay the excess advance payments with your tax return.

  • Prescription Drug Coverage

Health insurance or plan that helps pay for prescription drugs and medications.

  • Prescription Drugs

Drugs and medications that by law require a prescription.

  • Prevention

Activities to prevent illness such as routine check-ups, immunizations, patient counseling, and screenings.

  • Preventive Services

Routine health care that includes screenings, check-ups and patient counseling to prevent illnesses, disease, or other health problems.

  • Primary Care

Health services that cover a range of prevention, wellness and treatment for common illnesses.  Primary care providers include doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  They often maintain long-term relationships with you and advise and treat you on a range of health related issues. They may also coordinate your care with specialists.

  • Primary Care Physician

A physician (M.D. – Medical Doctor or D.O. – Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) who directly provides or coordinates a range of health care services for a patient.

  • Primary Care Provider

A physician (M.D. – Medical Doctor or D.O. – Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist or physician assistant, as allowed under state law, who provides, coordinates or helps a patient access a range of health care services.

  • Prior Authorization

Approval from a health plan that may be required before you get a service or fill a prescription in order for the service or prescription to be covered by your plan.

  • Public Health

A field that seeks to improve lives and the health of communities through the prevention and treatment of disease and the promotion of healthy behaviors such as healthy eating and exercise.

Q

  • Qualified Health Plan

Under the Affordable Care Act, starting in 2014, an insurance plan that is certified by the Health Insurance Marketplace, provides essential health benefits, follows established limits on cost-sharing (like deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximum amounts), and meets other requirements.  A qualified health plan will have a certification by each Marketplace in which it is sold.

  • Qualifying Life Event

A change in your life that can make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in health coverage.  Examples of qualifying life events are moving to a new state, changes in your income and changes in your family size (for example, if you marry, divorce, have a baby, or become pregnant).

R

  • Rate Review

A process that allows state insurance departments to review rate increases before insurance companies can apply them to you.

  • Referral

A written order from your primary care doctor for you to see a specialist or get certain medical services.  In many Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), you need to get a referral before you can get medical care from anyone except your primary care doctor. If you don’t get a referral first, the plan may not pay for the services.

  • Rehabilitative/Rehabilitation Services

Health care services that help you keep, get back or improve skills and functioning for daily living that have been lost or impaired because you were sick, hurt, or disabled.  These services may include physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and psychiatric rehabilitation services in a variety of inpatient and/or outpatient settings.

  • Reimbursement Specialist

Our reimbursement specialists know the payors, the complex systems and the roadblocks when resolving claims with insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare.  Their total commitment to the time, attention to detail and resources needed to resolve each and every claim as quickly and cost-effectively as possible is a promise they keep.  They know the time, effort and resources it takes to resolve third-party and aged claims.  They’ve been there, working smarter, harder and behind the scenes with the determination and resolve to deliver efficient solutions, a reduced workload for your staff and a better bottom line for you as a provider.

  • Reinsurance

A reimbursement system that protects insurers from very high claims.  It usually involves a third party paying part of an insurance company’s claims once they pass a certain amount.  Reinsurance is a way to stabilize an insurance market and make coverage more available and affordable.

  • Rescission

The retroactive cancellation of a health insurance policy.  Insurance companies will sometimes retroactively cancel your entire policy if you made a mistake on your initial application when you buy an individual market insurance policy.  Under the Affordable Care Act, rescission is illegal except in cases of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of material fact as prohibited by the terms of the plan or coverage.

  • Retirement Benefit (Pension)

A payment or series of payments made to you after you retire from work. Generally, the amount of your income from a pension or retirement account distribution depends on the type of pension or retirement account, how much you contributed to the pension or retirement account, and whether you were already taxed on the amounts you contributed. A qualified distribution from a designated Roth account isn’t required to be included in your income.

  • Rider (exclusionary rider)

A rider is an amendment to an insurance policy.  Some riders will add coverage (for example, if you buy a maternity rider to add coverage for pregnancy to your policy.)  In most states today, an exclusionary rider is an amendment, permitted in individual health insurance policies that permanently excludes coverage for a health condition, body part, or body system.  Starting in September 2010, under the Affordable Care Act, exclusionary riders cannot be applied to coverage for children.  Starting in 2014, no exclusionary riders will be permitted in any health insurance.

  • Risk Adjustment

A statistical process that takes into account the underlying health status and health spending of the enrollees in an insurance plan when looking at their health care outcomes or health care costs.

S

  • School-Based Medicaid Billing

Schools provide a unique opportunity to enroll eligible children in the Medicaid program, and to assist children who are already enrolled in Medicaid to access the benefits available to them.  The purpose of the Medicaid School-Based Administrative Program is to help schools find the appropriate methods for claiming federal reimbursement for the administrative costs and to make sure such costs are carried out effectively and efficiently.

  • Screening and Enrollment

Beginning to end assistance while completing the screening and enrollment process.  Walking patients through the following:  Screening for potential eligibility of all health care coverage, including Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or other health care coverage programs, such as State and Federal Exchanges.  Offering assistance in obtaining all required documentation.  Providing a wide range of services to help with the process, including visiting patients in their homes and providing technical support.  Work through every detail at every level of the process by physically and fiscally being there for hospitals, patients and their families…past, present or future.  Assisting with filling re-applications for patients when eligibility has lapsed.  Offering patient representation with eligibility adverse actions and representation in provider prior authorization appeals.

  • Self-Insured Plan

Type of plan usually present in larger companies where the employer itself collects premiums from enrollees and takes on the responsibility of paying employees’ and dependents’ medical claims.  These employers can contract for insurance services such as enrollment, claims processing, and provider networks with a third party administrator, or they can be self-administered.

  • Service Area

A geographic area where a health insurance plan accepts members if it limits membership based on where people live.  For plans that limit which doctors and hospitals you may use, it’s also generally the area where you can get routine (non-emergency) services. The plan may disenroll you if you move out of the plan’s service area.

  • Skilled Nursing Care

Services from licensed nurses in your own home or in a nursing home. Skilled care services are from technicians and therapists in your own home or in a nursing home.

  • Skilled Nursing Facility Care

Skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services provided on a continuous, daily basis, in a skilled nursing facility.  Examples of skilled nursing facility care include physical therapy or intravenous injections that can only be given by a registered nurse or doctor.

  • Social Security

A system that distributes financial benefits to retired or disabled people, their spouses, and their dependent children based on their reported earnings.  While you work, you may pay taxes into the Social Security system. When you retire or become disabled, you, your spouse and your dependent children may get monthly benefits that are based on your reported earnings. Your survivors may be able to collect Social Security benefits if you die.

  • Social Security Benefits

The amount you get from Social Security Disability, Retirement (including Railroad retirement) or Survivor’s Benefits each month.

  • Social Security Disability Advocate

Our social security disability advocate helps fill the gap in reviewing claims for Federal Social Security Disability appeals.  This compassionate expert serves both as an attorney and an advocate for individuals and their families who need guidance and support in the appeals process when it comes to Social Security benefits.

  • Social Security Survivor Benefits

Social Security benefits based on your record (if you should die) that are paid to your:

  • Widow/widower age 60 or older, 50 or older if disabled, or any age if caring for a child under age 16 or disabled before age 22
  • Children, if they are unmarried and under age 18, under 19 but still in school, or 18 or older but disabled before age 22; and
  • Parents if you provided at least one-half of their support.
  • An ex-spouse could also be eligible for a widow/widower’s benefit on your record.  A special one-time lump sum payment of $255 may be made to your spouse or minor children.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

The largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities.  It is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program designed to provide income supplements to individuals and certain members of the family who have physical disabilities during employment.  SSDI can be supplied on either a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the individual’s disability.

  • Special Enrollment Period

A time outside of the open enrollment period during which you and your family have a right to sign up for job-based health coverage.  Job-based plans must provide a special enrollment period of 30 days following certain life events that involve a change in family status (for example, marriage or birth of a child) or loss of other job-based health coverage.

  • Special Health Care Need

The health care and related needs of children who have chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions. Such needs are of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.

  • Specialist

A physician specialist focuses on a specific area of medicine or a group of patients to diagnose, manage, prevent or treat certain types of symptoms and conditions. A non-physician specialist is a provider who has more training in a specific area of health care.

  • Spousal Impoverishment Standards

In 1988, Congress enacted provisions to prevent what has come to be called community with little or not income or resources.  These provisions help ensure that the situation will not occur and that community spouses are able to live out their lives with independence and dignity.  Under the provisions, a certain amount of the couple’s combined resources is protected for the spouse living in the community.  Depending on how much of his or her own income the community spouse actually has, a certain amount of income belonging to the spouse in the institution can also be set aside for the community spouse’s use.

  • State Continuation Coverage

A state-based requirement similar to COBRA that applies to group health insurance policies of employers with fewer than 20 employees.  In some states, state continuation coverage rules also apply to larger group insurance policies and add to COBRA protections. For example, in some states, if you’re leaving a job-based plan, you must be allowed to continue your coverage until you reach the age of Medicare eligibility.

  • State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

A state program that gets funding from the federal government to provide free local health coverage counseling to people with Medicare.

  • State Insurance Department

A state agency that regulates insurance and can provide information about health coverage in its state.

  • State Medical Assistance Office

A state agency in charge of the state’s Medicaid program and can give information about programs in its state that help pay medical bills for people with limited income and resources.

  • Subsidized Coverage

Health coverage that’s obtained through financial assistance from programs to help people with low and middle incomes.

  • Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)

An easy-to-read summary that lets you make apples-to-apples comparisons of costs and coverage between health plans.  You can compare options based on price, benefits, and other features that may be important to you.  You’ll get the “Summary of Benefits and Coverage” (SBC) when you shop for coverage on your own or through your job, renew or change coverage or request an SBC from the health insurance company.

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

A monthly benefit paid by Social Security to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or 65 or older. SSI benefits are not the same as Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

T

  • The 340B Program

The 340B Drug Pricing Program enables Medicaid participating hospitals to purchase qualified outpatient drugs at discounted prices.

  • The Appeals Process

If you filed for Social Security Disability Benefits or Supplemental Security Income and your claim was denied, you may request an appeal.  Generally, there are four levels of appeals:

  • Reconsideration
  • Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge
  • Review by the Appeals Council
  • Federal Court Review
  • The ClaimAid Advantage

The ClaimAid Advantage is an extension of our stellar customer service, focusing on comprehensive solutions that provide the best results with compassion and integrity.  We pride ourselves in going the extra step for our customers and believe this extra effort gives us the ClaimAid Advantage.

  • Total Cost Estimate (for health coverage)

The total amount you may have to pay for health plan coverage, which is estimated before you actually have the coverage and have health expenses under the coverage.

  • Tricare

A health care program for active-duty and retired uniformed services members and their families.

  • TTY

A TTY (teletypewriter) is a communication device used by people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have severe speech impairment. People who don’t have a TTY can communicate with a TTY user through a message relay center (MRC). An MRC has TTY operators available to send and interpret TTY messages.

U

  • UCR (Usual, Customary and Reasonable)

The amount paid for a medical service in a geographic area based on what providers in the area usually charge for the same or similar medical service. The UCR amount sometimes is used to determine the allowed amount.

  • Uncompensated Care

Health care or services provided by hospitals or health care providers that don’t get reimbursed. Often uncompensated care arises when people don’t have insurance and cannot afford to pay the cost of care.

  • Urgent Care

Care for an illness, injury or condition serious enough that a reasonable person would seek care right away, but not so severe as to require emergency room care.

V

  • Value-Based Purchasing (VBP)

Linking provider payments to improved performance by health care providers. This form of payment holds health care providers accountable for both the cost and quality of care they provide. It attempts to reduce inappropriate care and to identify and reward the best-performing providers.

  • Vision or Vision Coverage

A type of health benefit that at least partially covers vision care, like eye exams and glasses. This coverage can be offered either as part of a comprehensive medical plan, or by itself through a “stand-alone” vision plan. However, stand-alone vision plans may not be offered through the Marketplaces.

W

  • Waiting Period (Job-based coverage)

The time that must pass before coverage can become effective for an employee or dependent, who is otherwise eligible for coverage under a job-based health plan.

  • Well-baby and Well-child Visits

Routine doctor visits for comprehensive preventive health services that occur when a baby is young and annual visits until a child reaches age 21. Services include physical exam and measurements, vision and hearing screening, and oral health risk assessments.

  • Wellness Programs

A program intended to improve and promote health and fitness that’s usually offered through the work place, although insurance plans can offer them directly to their enrollees. The program allows your employer or plan to offer you premium discounts, cash rewards, gym memberships, and other incentives to participate. Some examples of wellness programs include programs to help you stop smoking, diabetes management programs, weight loss programs, and preventative health screenings.

  • Worker’s Compensation

An insurance plan that employers are required to have to cover employees who get sick or injured on the job.