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Financial Literacy - Insurance
Insurance toolkit
Glossary terms, calculators, work sheets and lots of strategies are provided to help you comprehend insurance.
Understanding insurance needs

Glossary of health insurance terms

14. Medical savings account -- Similar to an IRA, a medical savings account, or MSA, is intended to help self-employed people and employees of certain small businesses to save for and pay their medical expenses that are not covered by health insurance.

15. Medicare -- 1. Federal program that provides health benefits for people who qualify -- usually those over 65 and the disabled. 2. Payroll taxes from employers and employees go to pay for the program. 3. Medicare Part A covers hospitalization, and is funded by the government. Part B, also called Supplemental Medical Insurance, covers basic medical expenses, and is paid jointly by the government and the insured.

16. Portability -- The ability to switch insurers seamlessly without pre-existing condition exclusions.

17. POS -- Point of service plan. An insurance plan that falls somewhere between an HMO and a PPO. Policyholders receive benefits for care from in-network and out-of-network doctors. The level of benefits is usually highest when seeking treatment through the referral of a primary care doctor and lowest when seeking treatment without a referral.

18. PPO -- Preferred Provider Organization. A plan that offers discounted rates on services to members who use providers in the network. Often, if the individual seeks care outside the network, a smaller portion of the charges is reimbursed.

19. Pre-existing condition -- A health-related situation that predates the person's coverage under the policy or plan.

20. Supplemental medical insurance -- Supplemental medical insurance is additional coverage not included in a consumer's main health insurance package. When the main insurance package is Medicare, supplemental medical insurance is known as Part B of Medicare; it covers basic medical expenses, and is paid jointly by the government and the insured.

21. Third-party payer -- Any company or entity that pays medical expenses for the insured. Typically an insurance company, HMO, etc.

View glossary archive
-- Posted: Aug. 20, 2007
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