You are here

Glossary

Allowed amount: The amount Medicare determines it will pay for a covered health care service. The UC plan covers most or all of the cost after Medicare pays its share, based on the Medicare allowed amount.

Appeals & Grievances: This is a written or verbal expression of dissatisfaction about Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross providers or an Anthem Blue Cross vendor.

Balance Billing: If you see a Medicare “non-participating provider,” you may be responsible for any costs beyond what Medicare will pay.

Brand name drugs: FDA-approved drugs under patent to the original manufacturer and available only under the original manufacturer’s brand name.

Calendar year: A 12-month period beginning at 12:01 a.m. on January 1 and ending at 11:59 p.m. December 31 of that year.

Claim: A provider’s request to Medicare or Anthem Blue Cross asking to be paid for a service you’ve received. Visit Submitting a Claim to learn more.

Coinsurance: The percentage you pay for the cost of covered health care services, after you meet your calendar-year deductible.

Deductible: The amount you pay out of pocket for non-Medicare covered services or for Medicare covered services not paid by Medicare but paid by the UC plan.

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.

Eligibility: The benefits package available to you depends on the type of job you have, the percentage of time you work and the length of your appointment determine your benefits package. Visit UC Eligibility for more details.

Emergency medical condition: An illness, injury, symptom, or condition so serious that you would seek care right away to avoid severe harm.

Emergency or authorized transport: Ambulance services for an emergency medical condition.

Emergency room care: Emergency services you get in an emergency room.

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

Explanation of Benefits: After you get care, Medicare will send you a Medicare Explanation of Benefits. It tells you what the provider billed Medicare, Medicare’s approved amount, the amount Medicare paid, and what you have to pay. Anthem will send you a separate Explanation of Benefits that provides information about how your claim was paid, including how much you owe or will be reimbursed.

Formulary: A list of drugs determined and maintained by Anthem to use for its prescription drug program. The formulary is designed to assist physicians in prescribing drugs that are medically necessary and cost effective. The formulary structure features generic medications (with the lowest copayments), preferred and non-preferred brands. It is updated periodically. If not otherwise excluded, the formulary includes all generic drugs. For current formularies, visit Anthem.

Generic drugs: Approved by the FDA as a therapeutic equivalent to the brand name drug. Most generic drugs are listed under “generic.” Drugs listed under generic have the same active ingredient as the brand name versions but at a lower cost. For more information about generic drugs and costs, visit Anthem.

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

Home health care: Health care services a person receives at home.

Hospice services: Services provided to support end-of-life care when the patient’s condition is terminal and can no longer receive curative treatment. Support services are also provided to the patient’s family members.

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.

Hospital outpatient care: Care in a hospital that usually doesn’t require an overnight stay.

Inpatient: An individual who has been admitted to a hospital as a registered bed patient and is receiving services under the direction of a physician.

Maintenance medications: Prescribed to treat chronic health conditions—such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol—and are taken on an ongoing, regular basis to maintain health.

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.

Network: The facilities, providers and suppliers your health plan has contracted with to provide covered health care services.

Network providers: A state-licensed health care provider who has contracted with a health care plan and has agreed to certain rates. In most cases, you pay less and receive a higher level of benefits when you use in-network providers (Anthem Blue Cross). Check your plan for coverage details.

Non-preferred drugs: Drugs listed under “non-preferred” generally have higher copayments than preferred brand name drugs.

Out-of-Pocket Maximum: The most you’ll pay for covered health care services in a calendar year. Once you reach it, the plan pays 100% of the costs for covered services.

Outpatient: An individual receiving health care services, but not as an inpatient.

Preauthorization: A decision by your health 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 or plan may require preauthorization for certain services before you receive them, except in an emergency. Preauthorization isn’t a promise your health plan will cover the cost.

Preferred provider organization (PPO): A PPO is similar to a traditional “fee-for-service” plan, but you must use doctors in the PPO provider network or pay a higher coinsurance (percentage of charges). A PPO allows you to select most providers without a referral. In these plans, you typically must meet an annual deductible before some benefits apply. You are responsible for a certain coinsurance amount and the plan pays the balance up to the allowable amount. As a PPO health plan member, you get maximum benefit coverage when you use the PPO network of physicians and hospitals.

Premium: Your health care costs begin with your premium—the amount that’s deducted from your paycheck for your coverage, depending on your salary band. Visit UC Employee Medical Plan Costs to find your current monthly premium.

Prescription drugs: Drugs and medications that by law require a prescription.

Prescription drug out-of-pocket maximum: There is a separate Medicare Part D out-of-pocket maximum. Once you reach it, the plan pays 100% of the costs for prescription drugs.

Preventive care: You have access to preventive services through your medical plan at no cost to you if a participating provider is used and the claims they submit are coded correctly. The types of preventive services covered generally must have been rated as an A or B service by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, although the medical plan you are enrolled in may cover additional preventive services that did not receive this rating. Follow-up testing for a diagnosed medical condition (such as additional glucose or cholesterol level tests) will generally not be covered as preventive. These services are covered for men, women and children:

  • Annual well-adult and well-woman exams
  • Well-baby and well-child visits based on American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians age and frequency guidelines
  • Blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests based on age and gender guidelines
  • Routine mammograms and cervical cancer screening, included PAP smears
  • Colorectal cancer screenings, including fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy based on age guidelines
  • Counseling on such topics as quitting smoking, losing weight, eating healthfully, treating depression and reducing alcohol use
  • Routine vaccinations against diseases such as measles, polio, or meningitis.
  • Flu and pneumonia shots
  • Counseling, screening and vaccines to ensure healthy pregnancies
  • Women’s preventive services:
    • Breast feeding support, supplies, and counseling, including breast pumps
    • Contraception counseling
    • Contraception methods (IUDs and diaphragms)
    • Domestic violence screening
    • Gestational diabetes screening
    • HIV screening and counseling
    • Human papillomavirus testing (beginning at age 30, and for every three years thereafter)
    • Sexually transmitted infections and counseling

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.

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 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.

Services: Includes medically necessary health care services (as determined by Medicare or Anthem) and medically necessary supplies furnished incident to those services.

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

Specialist: A physician specialist who 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.

Specialty Medications: These are drugs that are used to treat complex or chronic conditions that usually require close monitoring, such as multiple sclerosis, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and other conditions that are difficult to treat with traditional therapies. Specialty drugs may be self-administered in the home by injection (under the skin or into a muscle), by inhalation, by mouth or on the skin. These drugs may also require special handling, special manufacturing processes and may have limited prescribing or limited pharmacy availability. Specialty drugs are obtained from the Anthem specialty pharmacy–Accredo, and may require prior authorization.

True Out-Of-Pocket (TrOOP): The amount you pay for covered Medicare Part D prescription drugs that count toward your plan's out-of-pocket maximum. Your annual deductible, coinsurance or copayments and what you pay in the coverage gap all count toward the TrOOP. However your medical plan premiums (which include prescription drug coverage in the Medicare PPO and High Option Supplement to Medicare plans) do not count toward the TrOOP.

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.