As you explore our site, you may come across an unfamiliar word or term. We've developed a glossary that we hope will help you.

A (10) B (6) C (17) D (8) E (9) F (5) G (3) H (10) I (7) L (1) M (5) N (6) O (6) P (20) Q (1) R (3) S (5) T (1) U (2) W (2)
Balance billing

When a provider bills you for the difference between the provider's charge and the allowed amount. For example, if the provider's charge is $100 and the allowed amount is $70, the provider may bill you for the remaining $30. A preferred provider may not balance bill you for covered services.


Services and supplies a health plan pays for. The term also refers to the amount a health plan allows.

Benefit description

Document that explains the benefits for self-funded (ASO) group subscribers. This is not the same as a Summary Plan Description (SPD) or a Plan Document.

Benefit period

The period of time a health plan will pay for covered benefits. Benefit periods are usually one year. They don't always reflect a calendar year.


A teleprocessing system that allows any Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan to make available to other Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans (in-or out -of-state) the same discounts they have negotiated with providers for their own customers.

Brand-name drug

A drug manufactured by a pharmaceutical company which has chosen to patent the drug's formula and register its brand name.