A

ADT

Admissions, discharges and transfers (as in ADT orders)

Adult Dependent Coverage to Age 26

A provision allowing adults up to age 26 to remain on their parents'/guardians' insurance plan.

Advance Directive

Patients and their doctors occasionally craft plans for future care in the event that the patient is unable to direct their care (in case of incapacitation or advanced illness).

Adverse Selection

Adverse selection occurs when healthy people opt out of purchasing insurance, and thus the premium prices rise, which then causes additional people to opt out. The end result is a very sick risk pool and very expensive insurance premiums.

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Commonly used shorthand for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health care reform law signed by President Obama; often referred to as Obamacare.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

A federal agency that compiles research on health care best practices and disseminates proven quality metrics.

Aggregate Indemnity

Maximum dollar amount of coverage for a particular treatment.

Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)

Former federal program providing payments to low-income families with children; it has subsequently been replaced with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The program no longer exists, but the program’s requirements are still in use to determine if a family qualifies for Medicaid.

Aligning Incentives

Aligning incentives refers to an effort to pay for the actions that provide value (such as good quality care, care coordination, and the like) and thus incentivize medical providers to make decisions toward that aim. Currently, the fee-for-service system incentivizes providers to provide services whether they are beneficial or not.

Alliance

Groups of businesses and individuals that join together to share insurance plans.

Premium Increase Review

Insurance providers are required to explain, to state and federal officials, any 'unreasonable' premium increases.