Glossary of Health Coverage and Medical Terms (continued)
Plan – A benefit your employer, union or other group sponsor provides to you to pay for your health care services.
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 my 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Provider – A physician (M.D. – Medical Doctor or D.O. – Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), health care professional or health care facility licensed, certified or accredited as required by state law.
Reconstructive Surgery – Surgery and follow-up treatment needed to correct or improve a part of the body because of birth defects, accidents, injuries, or medical conditions.
Rehabilitation Services – Health care services that help a person keep, get back or improve skills and functioning for daily living that have been lost or impaired because a person was sick, hurt of 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.
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.
Specialists – a physician specialist focuses on a specific area of medicine or a group or 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.
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 services. The UCR amount sometimes is used to determine the allowed amount.
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.