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Please note that the definitions included in this Glossary reflect the manner in which these terms are used on Medicare in general.

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Occurs every year between October 15 and December 7. You can alter your Medicare coverage during this time, and the modifications will become effective on January 1 of the following year. If you didn't sign up for Medicare Part D during your Initial Enrollment Period 
(IEP), you can now sign up for Medicare Part D coverage for the first time. You’ll also have the options to transfer between Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A & Part B) or join/change a new Medicare Advantage Plan.
Stool samples are subjected to a lab test to look for undetectable (occult) blood. Though not all tumors or polyps bleed, occult blood in the stool may be an indication of colon cancer or polyps in the colon or rectum.
The highest level of the Medicare appeals procedure, after an unfavorable result from the previous Medicare Appeals Council stage.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management Agency provides current Federal government employees, retirees, former employees, family members and former spouses as well as employees of certain tribal organizations with health insurance through commercial health plans.
An income threshold (that is subject to change annually) set by the federal government that must be met in order to qualify for programs like Extra Help and some Medicaid programs.
Are health centers located in most cities and many rural areas to assist in connecting individuals with medical care. FQHC’s may offer some services that are eligible for Medicare Part A and/or Part B reimbursement.
Medicare-approved healthcare providers receive payment for each treatment they render. Not all providers participate in Fee-for-Service plans, ask if your provider accepts the plans payment terms and agrees to treat you at the time of treatment.
An exam in which a skilled medical practitioner examines your rectum and lower colon, also known as the sigmoid colon and descending colon, using a flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end, called a sigmoidoscope or scope.
A vaccine that guards against receiving and/or spreading the influenza virus.


This glossary explains terms in the Medicare program, but it isn't a legal document. The official Medicare program provisions are found in the relevant laws, regulations, and rulings.

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