Amount payable by the insurance company to a claimant, assignee, or beneficiary when the insured suffers a loss.
The insurance company or HMO offering a health plan.
Case management is a system embraced by employers and insurance companies to ensure that individuals receive appropriate, reasonable health care services.
A request by an individual (or his or her provider) to an individual’s insurance company for the insurance company to pay for services obtained from a health care professional.
Co-insurance refers to money that an individual is required to pay for services, after a deductible has been paid. In some health care plans, co-insurance is called “co-payment.” Co-insurance is often specified by a percentage. For example, the employee pays 20 percent toward the charges for a service and the employer or insurance company pays 80 percent.
Co-payment is a predetermined (flat) fee that an individual pays for health care services, in addition to what the insurance covers. For example, some HMOs require a $10 “co-payment” for each office visit, regardless of the type or level of services provided during the visit. Co-payments are not usually specified by percentages.
The amount an individual must pay for health care expenses before insurance (or a self-insured company) covers the costs. Often, insurance plans are based on yearly deductible amounts.
Refusal by an insurance company or carrier to honor a request by an individual (or his or her provider) to pay for health care services obtained from a health care professional.
The date your insurance is to actually begin. You are not covered until the policies effective date.
Medical services that are not covered by an individual’s insurance policy.
The insurance company’s written explanation to a claim, showing what they paid and what the client must pay. Sometimes accompanied by a benefits check.
Health Maintenance Organizations represent “pre-paid” or “capitated” insurance plans in which individuals or their employers pay a fixed monthly fee for services, instead of a separate charge for each visit or service. The monthly fees remain the same, regardless of types or levels of services provided, Services are provided by physicians who are employed by, or under contract with, the HMO. HMOs vary in design. Depending on the type of the HMO, services may be provided in a central facility, or in a physician’s own office (as with IPAs.)
A Federal law passed in 1996 that allows persons to qualify immediately for comparable health insurance coverage when they change their employment or relationships. It also creates the authority to mandate the use of standards for the electronic exchange of health care data; to specify what medical and administrative code sets should be used within those standards; to require the use of national identification systems for health care patients, providers, payers (or plans), and employers (or sponsors); and to specify the types of measures required to protect the security and privacy of personally identifiable health care. Full name is “The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.”
Providers or health care facilities which are part of a health plan’s network of providers with which it has negoiated a discount. Insured individuals usually pay less when using an in-network provider, because those networks provide services at lower cost to the insurance companies with which they have contracts.
Indemnity health insurance plans are also called “fee-for-service.” These are the types of plans that primarily existed before the rise of HMOs, IPAs, and PPOs. With indemnity plans, the individual pays a pre-determined percentage of the cost of health care services, and the insurance company (or self-insured employer) pays the other percentage. For example, an individual might pay 20 percent for services and the insurance company pays 80 percent. The fees for services are defined by the providers and vary from physician to physician. Indemnity health plans offer individuals the freedom to choose their health care professionals.
Limitations is a limit on the amount of benefits paid out for a particular covered expense, as disclosed on the Certificate of Insurance.
A group of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers contracted to provide services to insurance companies customers for less than their usual fees. Provider networks can cover a large geographic market or a wide range of health care services. Insured individuals typically pay less for using a network provider.
This phrase usually refers to physicians, hospitals or other health care providers who are considered nonparticipants in an insurance plan (usually an HMO or PPO). Depending on an individual’s health insurance plan, expenses incurred by services provided by out-of-plan health professionals may not be covered, or covered only in part by an individual’s insurance company.
The “out of pocket maximum” (OOPM) is the maximum cost you can incur during the year for health coverage. Insurance companies usually set a limit on the deductible and coinsurance amounts. When your health care costs exceed that limit, the insurance company pays 100 percent.
An individual (patient) who receives health care services (such as surgery) on an outpatient basis, meaning they do not stay overnight in a hospital or inpatient facility. Many insurance companies have identified a list of tests and procedures (including surgery) that will not be covered (paid for) unless they are performed on an outpatient basis. The term outpatient is also used synonymously with ambulatory to describe health care facilities where procedures are performed.
Provider is a term used for health professionals who provide health care services. Sometimes, the term refers only to physicians. Often, however, the term also refers to other health care professionals such as hospitals, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, physical therapists, and others offering specialized health care services.
The average fee charged by a particular type of health care practitioner within a geographic area. The term is often used by medical plans as the amount of money they will approve for a specific test or procedure. If the fees are higher than the approved amount, the individual receiving the service is responsible for paying the difference. Sometimes, however, if an individual questions his or her physician about the fee, the provider will reduce the charge to the amount that the insurance company has defined as reasonable and customary.
An amount customarily charged for or covered for similar services and supplies which are medically necessary, recommended by a doctor, or required for treatment.