Skip Navigation

Glossary - H

This glossary explains terms in the Medicare program.

H

Health care provider

A person or organization that's licensed to give health care. Doctors, nurses, and hospitals are examples of health care providers.

Health coverage

Legal entitlement to payment or reimbursement for your health care costs, generally under a contract with a health insurance company, a group health plan offered in connection with employment, or a government program like Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Health Insurance Marketplace

A service that helps people shop for and enroll in affordable health insurance. The federal government operates the Marketplace, available at HealthCare.gov, for most states. Some states run their own Marketplaces.

The Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the “Marketplace” or “exchange”) provides health plan shopping and enrollment services through websites, call centers, and in-person help.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

The "Standard for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (also called the "Privacy Rule")" of HIPPA assures your health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public's health and well being.

High-deductible Medigap policy

A type of Medigap policy that has a high deductible but a lower premium. You must pay the deductible before the Medigap policy pays anything. The deductible amount can change each year.

Homebound

To be homebound means:

  • You have trouble leaving your home without help (like using a cane, wheelchair, walker, or crutches; special transportation; or help from another person) because of an illness or injury, or
  • Leaving your home isn't recommended because of your condition, and you're normally unable to leave your home because it's a major effort

You may leave home for medical treatment or short, infrequent absences for non-medical reasons, like attending religious services. You can still get home health care if you attend adult day care.

Home health agency

An organization that provides home health care.

Home health care

Health care services and supplies a doctor decides you may get in your home under a plan of care established by your doctor. Medicare only covers home health care on a limited basis as ordered by your doctor.

Hospice

A special way of caring for people who are terminally ill. Hospice care involves a team-oriented approach that addresses the medical, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of the patient. Hospice also provides support to the patient's family or caregiver.

Hospital outpatient setting

A part of a hospital where you get outpatient services, like an emergency department, observation unit, surgery center, or pain clinic.

Hospital-related medical condition

Any condition that was treated during your qualifying 3-day inpatient hospital stay, even if it wasn't the reason you were admitted to the hospital.


Top of page

Note

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.