Key Terms


Allowable Charge - The most that an in-network provider can charge you for an office visit or service.

Balance Billing - Non-network providers are allowed to charge you more than the plan's allowable charge. This is called Balance Billing.

Coinsurance - The cost share between you and the insurance company. Coinsurance is always a percentage totaling 100%. For example, if the plan pays 70%, you are responsible for paying the remaining 30% of the cost.

Copay - The fee you pay to a provider at the time of service.

Deductible - The amount you have to pay out-of-pocket for expenses before the insurance company will cover any benefit costs for the year (except for preventive care and other services where the deductible is waived).

Explanation of Benefits (EOB) - The statement you receive from the insurance carrier that explains how much the provider billed, how much the plan paid (if any) and how much you owe (if any). In general, you should not pay a bill from your provider until you have received and reviewed your EOB (except for copays).

Family Deductible - The maximum dollar amount any one family will pay out in individual deductibles in a year. IMPORTANT: If you enroll for family coverage on the 2020 plan, one or more family members will need to meet the deductible.

Individual Deductible - The dollar amount a member must pay each year before the plan will pay benefits for covered services. Important: If you enroll for family coverage on the 2020 plan, the individual deductible does not apply.

In-Network - Services received from providers (doctors, hospitals, etc.) who are a part of your health plan's network. In-network services generally cost you less than out-of-network services.

Out-of-Network - Services received from providers (doctors, hospitals, etc.) who are not a part of your health plan's network. Out-of-network services generally cost you more than in-network services. With some plans, such as HMOs and EPOs, out-of-network services are not covered.

Out-of-Pocket - Healthcare costs you pay using your own money, whether from your bank account, credit card, Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA).

Out-of-Pocket Maximum – The most you would pay out-of-pocket for covered services in a year. Once you reach your out-of-pocket maximum, the plan covers 100% of eligible expenses.

Preventive Care – A routine exam, usually yearly, that may include a physical exam, immunizations and tests for certain health conditions.


Brand Name Drug - A drug sold under its trademarked name. A generic version of the drug may be available.

Generic Drug – A drug that has the same active ingredients as a brand name drug, but is sold under a different name. Generics only become available after the patent expires on a brand name drug. For example, Tylenol is a brand name pain reliever commonly sold under its generic name, Acetaminophen.

Dispense as Written (DAW) - A prescription that does not allow for substitution of an equivalent generic or similar brand drug.

Maintenance Medications - Medications taken on a regular basis for an ongoing condition such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma, etc. Oral contraceptives are also considered a maintenance medication.

Non-Preferred Brand Drug - A brand name drug for which alternatives are available from either the plan's preferred brand drug or generic drug list. There is generally a higher copayment for a non-preferred brand drug.

Preferred Brand Drug - A brand name drug that the plan has selected for its preferred drug list. Preferred drugs are generally chosen based on a combination of clinical effectiveness and cost.

Specialty Pharmacy - Provides special drugs for complex conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Step Therapy - The practice of starting to treat a medical condition with the most cost effective and safest drug therapy and progressing to other more costly or risky therapy, only if necessary.


Basic Services - Generally include coverage for fillings and oral surgery.

Diagnostic and Preventive Services - Generally include routine cleanings, oral exams, x-rays, sealants and fluoride treatments. Most plans limit preventive exams and cleanings to two times a year.

Endodontics - Commonly known as root canal therapy.

Implants - An artificial tooth root that is surgically placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Many dental plans do not cover implants.

Major Services - Generally include restorative dental work such as crowns, bridges, dentures, inlays and onlays.

Orthodontia - Some dental plans offer Orthodontia services for children (and sometimes adults too) to treat alignment of the teeth. Orthodontia services are typically limited to a lifetime maximum.

Periodontics - Diagnosis and treatment of gum disease.

Pre-Treatment Estimate - An estimate of how much the plan will pay for treatment. A pre-treatment estimate is not a guarantee of payment.