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Glossary 

Terms you may find on this website. 

A

Terms Description

Appeal 

If you disagree with our decision to deny your coverage, you can ask us to reconsider it. We call this an appeal. You can appeal our denial for health care services or prescription drug coverage. 

B

Terms Description

Beneficiary 

This is a person who has health care insurance through a Medicare or Medicaid program. 

C

Terms Description

Case management programs

These programs help people who need extra assistance and help. Case managers help to coordinate care.

Terms Description

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

CMS is a federal agency that runs the Medicare program. It also works with states to run the Medicaid program. 

Terms Description

Coinsurance 

Amount you may have to pay for your share of services. Coinsurance is usually a percentage (for example, 20 percent).

Terms Description

Complaint 

The formal name for “making a complaint” is “filing a grievance.” You can use the complaint process for certain types of problems you may have with your plan’s service. These include issues with quality of care, wait times and customer service. Also see “Grievance.” 

Terms Description

Copay / Copayment

Amount you may have to pay for your share of services. Copays are usually a set amount (for example, $10 or $15 for a doctor’s visit).

Terms Description

Cost sharing

What you pay for care. Examples of cost-sharing can include a deductible, copayment or coinsurance.

D

Terms Description

Deductible 

This is the amount some plans require you to pay for covered services before the plan starts to pay.

Terms Description

Disenroll 

This means to end your membership in our plan. Disenrollment may be voluntary (your choice) or involuntary (not your choice). 

E

Terms Description

Enrollee 

This is a member of our Medicare plan. 

Terms Description

Evidence of Coverage (EOC) 

The EOC gives you detailed information on your plan’s coverage, costs and your rights and responsibilities as a plan member. You can find your EOC under the Coverage and Benefits page.

F

G

Terms Description

Grievance 

A type of complaint about the quality of your care. 

Terms Description

Group health plan

We also call this group coverage. This is a health plan that an employer or other group may offer to people like retirees. 

H

Terms Description

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

With most HMO plans, you can only go to doctors, other health care providers or hospitals in the plan’s network except in urgent or emergency situations.

I

Terms Description

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) 

This period lasts for seven months. It centers on the event that qualifies you for Medicare. For most people, that event is your 65th birthday.

Terms Description

In network

This means we have a contract with a doctor or other health care provider. We negotiate reduced rates with network providers to help you save money. Network providers won't bill you for the difference between their standard rate and their contracted rate. All you pay is your coinsurance or copay, along with any deductible. 

J

K

L

M

Terms Description

MA Plan

This type of Medicare Advantage Plan doesn’t cover prescription drugs. 

Terms Description

MAPD Plan

This type of Medicare Advantage Plan includes Medicare prescription drug coverage. 

Terms Description

Maximum out-of-pocket amount

This is the most you’ll pay in a year for certain health services. See your Evidence of Coverage for more information, including the maximum amount you’ll pay. 

Terms Description

Medicaid (Medical Assistance) 

A program that provides health coverage to specific individuals including low-income adults, children, elderly adults and people with disabilities. It’s funded jointly by states and the federal government and administered by states according to federal requirements.

Terms Description

Medicare 

This is a federal health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Some people under age 65 also may be eligible for Medicare. People with Medicare can get their health coverage through original Medicare, a Medicare Cost Plan, a PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan. 

Terms Description

Medicare Part D 

Prescription drug coverage. You can get Part D through a Medicare Advantage plan that offers prescription drugs. Or through a separate Prescription Drug plan. 

Terms Description

Medigap or Medicare Supplement 

These are two names for Medicare Supplement insurance. Private insurance companies sell it to fill “gaps” in Original Medicare. Medigap (Medicare Supplement) policies only work together with Original Medicare. You can’t have a Medicare Advantage Plan and a Medigap policy too. 

Terms Description

Member 

A member is a person with Medicare who is eligible for covered services and has enrolled in our plan. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has also confirmed their enrollment.

N

Terms Description

Network 

This is a group of health care providers. It includes doctors, dentists and hospitals. A health care provider in a network signs a contract with a health plan to provide services. Usually, a network provider provides these services at a special rate. With some health plans, you get more coverage when you get care from network providers. 

Terms Description

Network provider

This is a provider that has an agreement with our plan. The plan pays a network provider based on the agreement. We also call network providers plan providers. 

O

Terms Description

Organization determination (coverage decision) 

This is a decision about whether we cover items or services or how much you have to pay for covered items or services. 

Terms Description

Out-of-network provider or out-of-network facility 

These are providers or facilities that don’t have a contract with us to deliver covered services to Aetna.

P

Terms Description

Point-of-Service option (POS) 

This type of health plan lets you see network providers. You can also see providers outside the network. In many POS plans, if you use referrals and see a primary care physician (PCP), you get more coverage. You may also pay less for care. You can still get care from a provider who isn’t a PCP, but you might pay more for that care. 

Terms Description

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO ESA)

A PPO plan with an extended service area (ESA) gives you the flexibility to see any provider, in or out of network, at the same cost, according to the costs listed on your plan benefits summary. They just have to be licensed, eligible to receive Medicare payments and willing to accept your plan.

Terms Description

Premium 

This is the amount you pay for coverage. If you get coverage from an employer or group health plan, the costs might be shared between you and the employer.

Terms Description

Primary Care Physician (PCP) or Primary Care Doctor

A PCP is a doctor who is part of a health plan's network, and sometimes called your main doctor. Your PCP is your main contact for care. A PCP gives you referrals for other care. They coordinate the care you get from specialists or other care facilities. Some health plans require you to choose a PCP.

Terms Description

Prior authorization

Some services or prescription drugs require your doctor and the plan to approve them before you get care or fill a prescription. The approval tells you if the plan covers the service or prescription. Check with your plan to see which drugs or services need prior authorization. Prior authorization is also called precertification, certification and authorization. In Texas, this approval is known as pre-service utilization review and is not verification as defined by Texas law. 

Terms Description

Provider 

This is a doctor, hospital, pharmacy or other licensed professional or facility that provides medical services.

Q

R

Terms Description

Referral 

A referral is a type of preapproval from your primary care doctor to see a specialist. When your doctor issues a referral, they share the reason for the recommendation with the specialist. They also help coordinate your visit, so you get the proper care. 

S

Terms Description

Special Enrollment Period (SEP) 

This is also called a special election period. If you have a Medicare plan, it’s a time when you can change your benefits because something in your life changes. Examples are getting married or moving out of a plan’s service area.

Terms Description

Special Needs Plan (SNP) 

This is a type of Medicare Advantage Plan. It provides more focused health care for specific groups of people, such as those who: 

  

  • Have both Medicare and Medicaid 

  • Live in a nursing home  

  • Have certain chronic medical conditions 

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z