A medical assistance program for certain individuals and families with limited incomes and resources. Medicaid is jointly funded by the federal and state governments and managed by the states. It includes programs that help pay Medicare premiums and cost-sharing.
Medical Savings Account (MSA)
A type of Medicare Advantage plan that combines a special bank savings account with a high-deductible Medicare Advantage plan. The money in the savings account can be used only for medical expenses.
Medically necessary care
Services or supplies that are needed to diagnose or treat a medical condition according to the accepted standards of medical practice.
A federal government health program for U.S.citizens or legal residents who’ve lived in the country for at least five years in a row, and who meet one of the below:
- Age 65 or older
- Under age 65 with a qualifying disability
- Any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's Disease)
A type of Medicare plan offered by a private company that includes Medicare Part A and Part B, usually includes Part D prescription drug coverage, and may also offer other benefits such as dental or vision. Learn more about Medicare Advantage plans.
The amount Medicare determines to be reasonable for a covered service. Providers who "accept assignment" agree to accept this amount as payment in full.
Medicare assignment refers to the Medicare-approved amount for payment in full for a medical service. Doctors can choose to accept assignment or not. If they do not accept assignment, then they may charge more than the Medicare-approved amount for a service. This means you may pay more.
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period
The time period each year during which you may make changes to your Medicare coverage. This period is known as the Medicare AEP and runs October 15 through December 7. During this time you can join or switch Medicare Advantage or Part D plans, or you can return to Original Medicare. You can also enroll in Medigap if you choose.
Medicare Savings Account plan (MSA)
A type of Medicare Advantage plan that combines a high-deductible health plan with a savings account. You use money from the savings account to pay your health care costs.
Medicare Savings Program
Medicare program that helps eligible people pay some or all of their Medicare premiums. In some cases, the program may also help with deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.
Medicare supplement insurance plans (Medigap)
These are standardized plans, provided by private insurance companies, that pay for some of the remaining out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover, such as deductibles and coinsurance. Each plan is named with a letter of the alphabet. Don't confuse Medicare supplement plans A, B, C and D with Medicare Parts A, B, C and D.
Note: In Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin there are different plans available.
Medicare Supplement Insurance Open Enrollment Period
The time period during which you are guaranteed the right to buy any Medicare supplement insurance plan available where you live. This six-month period begins the first day of the month in which you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this time, the insurer cannot refuse to sell you a plan or charge a higher premium due to your medical history or current health.
Another name for Medicare supplement insurance.