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Term Definition
Employer or Union Retiree Plans

Health plans that give health and/or drug coverage to employees, former employees, and their families. These plans are offered to people through their (or a spouse's) current or former employer or employee organization.

Enhanced Alternative Plan

Enhanced Alternative Plans can offer a more comprehensive level of coverage, with lower cost-sharing and/or additional coverage of certain drugs excluded from the standard level of coverage and basic alternative coverage. Premiums may be higher for these plans, but they offer more coverage.

Estimated Annual Cost

When using this tool, this is an estimate of the average amount you might expect to spend each year for your health and/or drug coverage. The estimates include:

  • Plan benefits (coverage);
  • Costs for premiums, copayments, deductibles, coinsurance, and;
  • Costs not covered by your insurance.

Your out-of-pocket costs are based on actual health and/or drug coverage use by people with Medicare, and they may differ depending on your age and health status. Also, if you have limited income and resources, your expenses may be lower.

*NOTE: An asterisk (*) after a term means that this definition, in whole or in part, is used with permission from Walter Feldesman, ESQ., Dictionary of Eldercare Terminology, Copyright 2000.

This glossary explains terms in the Medicare program, but it is not a legal document. The official Medicare program provisions are found in the relevant laws, regulations,and rulings.