Medical billing basic definitions like copay, coins, deductible, write off

Benefit Period

The way that Original Medicare measures your use of hospital and skilled nursing facility (SNF) services. A benefit period begins the day you go to a hospital or skilled nursing facility. The benefit  period ends when you haven’t received any inpatient hospital care (or skilled care in a SNF) for 60 days in a row. If you go into a hospital or a skilled nursing facility after one benefit period has ended, a new benefit period begins.


An amount you may be required to pay as your share of the costs for services, after you pay any plan deductibles. Coinsurance is usually a percentage (for example, 20%).


An amount you may be required to pay as your share of the cost for a medical service or supply, like a doctor’s visit or a prescription. A copayment is usually a set amount, rather than a percentage. For example, you might pay $10 or $20 for a doctor’s visit or prescription.


Th e amount you must pay for health care or prescriptions, before Original Medicare, your prescription drug plan, or other insurance begins to pay.

Excess Charges (Write off)

If you have Original Medicare, and the amount a doctor or other health care provider is legally permitted to charge is higher than the Medicare-approved amount, the difference is called the excess

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plan—

A type of Medicare Advantage Plan
(Part C) available in some areas of the country.
In most HMOs, you can only go to doctors,
specialists, or hospitals on the plan’s list except in
an emergency. Most HMOs also require you to
get a referral from your primary care doctor.

Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)—

A type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans off er prescription drug coverage.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan

A type of Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) available in some areas of the country in which you pay less if you use doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that belong to the plan’s network. You can use doctors, hospitals, and providers outside of the network for an additional cost.

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