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Understanding health insurance terms

Health insurance terminology
Knowing health insurance terminology can help you make smart decisions about your coverage.

Do you know the difference between a deductible and a copayment?

If you don’t know, you’re not alone. Many people are confused by health insurance terminology.

To help you navigate your way through this year’s open season, here are some important definitions:

• Deductible: This is the amount you pay for covered health care services before your health plan starts to pay. You can find the amount, and how much you’ve paid toward it, on your health insurance web portal.

• High-deductible health plan: This is a plan with a higher deductible than a traditional insurance plan, but usually with lower monthly premiums and a health savings account.

• Copayment: This is a fixed amount paid for certain covered health care services.

• Coinsurance: This refers to a percentage paid for some covered health care services.

• Flexible spending account: This is an account set up to pay for out-of-pocket medical or dependent care expenses on a pretax basis.

• Preventive services: This describes routine health care that includes screenings, patient counseling and vaccinations, such as flu shots. Preventive services are covered at 100 percent under your health plan if you go to an in-network provider.

Want to test your knowledge? Try the online Open Season Benefit Quiz.

Additional information to help you better understand your plan options, as well as a variety of resources, are available on the Open Season LiteBlue site.

Open season, the annual period when employees can change their health coverage or enroll in a new plan, runs from Nov. 12-Dec. 10.

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