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Medicare terms

Learn more about Medicare. Start with these definitions.

F

federal poverty level

In order to be eligible for Medicaid or Extra Help financial assistance, a U.S. citizen must prove that he or she is below the federal poverty level. The FPL, which changes annually, recognizes the level of income below which necessary services would be difficult to obtain.

federally qualified health center

A federally qualified health center is a community-based facility that offers comprehensive primary and preventive care to patients, regardless of their ability to pay for services. Facilities may include community centers or homeless shelters in “medically underserved areas” where individuals lack access to services.

fee-for-service

Fee-for-service is a system of health care payment in which a provider is paid separately for each particular service rendered. Original Medicare is an example of fee-for-service coverage.

fiscal intermediary

A fiscal intermediary is a private company contracted by Medicare to pay bills – such as hospital expenses – for Medicare Part A and Part B.

formulary

A formulary is the list of approved prescription drugs that Medicare will cover.