Health Benefits

Benefits paid under health insurance plans, such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, to cover the costs of health care.

Health Care Declaration

See: living will

Health Care Directive

A legal document that allows you to set out written wishes for your medical care, name a person to make sure those wishes are carried out, or both. (See also: living will, durable power of attorney for health care, advance directive)

Health Care Proxy

A person named in a health care directive to make medical decisions for the person who signed the document, called the principal. A health care proxy may go by many other names, including agent, attorney-in-fact, or patient advocate.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

A federal statute that allows healthcare coverage on an immediate and continuing basis for employees who change employers.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

DefinitionIllustrative caselaw A health care delivery system where the provider offers a participant a comprehensive range of health services for a fixed premium. The recipient agrees to use only these services (except in cases of emergency) and thereby...

Health Maintenance Organizations

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are comprehensive forms of insurance that include a wide range of coverages and prices. Health-care professionals offer care through the HMO for a flat-rate without deductibles. The HMO only covers care for...

Healthcare Fraud

Health Care Fraud: An Overview

Health care fraud is a type of white-collar crime that involves the filing of dishonest health care claims in order to turn a profit. Fraudulent health care schemes come in many forms. Practitioner schemes include:...

informed consent

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryAn agreement to do something or to allow something to happen, made with complete knowledge of all relevant facts, such as the risks involved or any available alternatives. For example, a patient may give...

Major Life Activity

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryFunctions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an individual is considered...