Decoding Health Insurance Jargon for Clients

Understand Health Terms

Understanding health insurance can be a challenge, especially given the industry’s love for acronyms and jargon. Yell® Business, known for their work with the Yellow Pages, conducted an analysis earlier this year. Their findings revealed that when it comes to industries filled with perplexing language, healthcare, which includes the health insurance sector, ranks seventh.

The Yell examination used lists of thousands of words, acronyms, and phrases as well as Google data to reveal what industry lingo was searched most often during 2023.

The other nine industries ranking in the top 10 were:

  • IT and telecoms
  • Finance
  • Legal
  • Marketing/PR
  • News
  • Agriculture
  • Leisure and retail
  • Entertainment
  • Education

Property, manufacturing, construction, engineering, and automotive rounded out the top 15.

In the health, health care, and employee benefits fields, some of the most searched terms have been around for years. Others are newer, and it is, perhaps, more understandable why consumers have not fully embraced them.

The newly launched website  provides consumers, brokers and health insurance groups with an extensive library of over 100 essential health care definitions. The site includes helpful resources like videos and links to related content to help make term definitions more easily understood.

Here are some of the top search terms over at Hey Health 

When you’re working with clients, it’s best to avoid jargon – at least if possible. Sometimes, however, it’s probably unavoidable. In those circumstances, it’s a good best practice to explain technical or jargon terms when you first encounter them in your conversations with clients.

One approach you might consider is creating a “terms explained” list that you can share with clients. It could include the terms identified by Hey Health Insurance, as mentioned above, as well as some or all of following:

  • Aggregate Deductible
  • Effective Date
  • Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO)
  • Evidence of Coverage (EOC)
  • Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
  • In-network Provider and/or Preferred
  • Out-of-network Provider and/or Non-Preferred Provider
  • Primary Care Physician (PCP)
  • Specialist

There may be other terms you should consider as well based on the products and carriers you plan to discuss in your client meetings. For example, if you’ll be talking about Dental, you might want include UCR (Usual, Customary, and Reasonable) in your list.

Word & Brown offers a series of Health Care Quick Flicks to help you educate your clients about different aspects of health insurance and employee benefits. You can can access these videos through the Word & Brown website. In addition, through the Insurance Forms Library, we offer the Uniform Glossary of Health Coverage and Medical Terms in both English and Spanish. A pdf of our Common Health Insurance Topics and Medical Terms is available in the Forms Library, too.

Contact Word & Brown if have questions. If you’re not already doing business with us, it’s easy to get started. Call 800-869-6989 or fill out our online form.

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