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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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A preventative measure that healthcare professionals may take to test you for a specific illness or condition to determine an outcome ruling out a diagnosis or gain confirmation for next steps of treatment.
Coverage you can buy on its own, outside of a health plan. It helps pay for care and services that your primary health insurance plan might not. This extra insurance could be, for example, a vision plan, a dental plan, or an accident insurance plan.
This is the term used when Medicare is not the primary payer, or when another insurance carrier must pay before Medicare. There are rules around when Medicare will pay a claim, refer to Medicare’s Coordination of Benefits rules for more information.
A program that helps people with Medicare and Medicaid stop, find, and report health care fraud.
A geographical area where a health plan allows people to join their plan. Typically, a service area is where you live and can be designated by health plans within a county or state region.
A Medicare Part B benefit that offers screenings for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and/or Hepatitis B every 12 months. In addition, two half hour counseling sessions are covered yearly.
A national program that helps people with Medicare, their families, and caregivers make decisions about their care and benefits by giving them one-on-one help, counseling, and education.
A way to give medicine or a vaccine injection that helps the body's immune system fight off or prevent a disease or illness.
An examination to look at the entire rectum and lower part of your large intestine, which is called the sigmoid colon.
A licensed health professional, like a nurse or physical therapist, gives skilled nursing or rehabilitation services as ordered by a doctor to treat, manage, or observe a condition and evaluate care.


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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