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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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An individual or facility that offers health care products, services, or both, such as but not limited to a doctor, hospital, or durable medical equipment (DME) supplier.
A legal document that you appoint to a trusted individual to communicate your preferences and make healthcare choices on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so.
A contract with a health insurer to pay some or all of your healthcare costs by means of a premium. Health insurance may be Government-sponsored public health insurance plans such as Medicare and Medicaid. Private companies may also handle the management of employer health insurance.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established a marketplace in every state where people and small business owners may compare and buy health insurance coverage.
A type of health insurance plan that typically requires care or medical services from a network of providers under a specific plan. Exceptions include cases when emergency care, out-of-network urgent care or temporary out-of-area dialysis are needed.


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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