Understanding the Health Care System

Understanding the Health Care System

To assist you in your search for information, the AHA Resource Center has developed the following list of consumer-oriented health care web sites. Inclusion on this list does not imply a recommendation or endorsement of the information provided, nor constitute any warranty of the accuracy of the information on the web sites.

A Guide to Long Term Care Insurance
Helps you understand what long term care insurance is, what it costs, and how to select a plan. Also available in Spanish. (Health Insurance Association of America)

Glossary of Insurance Terms
Defines common terms encountered in health insurance. (Health Insurance Association of America)Guide to Health InsuranceDiscusses the basic forms of health coverage and includes a checklist to help you compare plans. (Health Insurance Association of America)

HIPAA Insurance Reform
Information about your rights and protections under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

Interpreting Your Explanation of Benefits
Helps you understand the explanation of benefits you receive from your insurance administrator. (Patient Advocate Foundation)

Managed Care Answer Guide
Guide to assist you in choosing, understanding, and utilizing your health plan. (Patient Advocate Foundation)

Medicare Health Plan CompareNational Center for Health Statistics
Allows you to identify and compare Medicare health plans that are available in your area. (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

Patient Glossary of Billing Terms
Guide to commonly used financial terms in the health care field. (Healthcare Financial Management Association/Patient Friendly Billing Project)

Protecting the Privacy of Patients Health Information
Fact sheet that explains the privacy provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

How to File a Health Information Privacy Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights
Information on how submit a complaint if you believe that a person, agency or organization covered under the HIPAA Privacy Rule violated your health information privacy rights or committed another violation of the Privacy Rule. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

National Center for Health Statistics
Statistical reports on health and health care in the U.S. (National Center for Health Statistics)

Top 10 Ways to Make Your Health Benefits Work for You
Guidance for finding the health plan that best meets your needs and preferences. (U. S. Department of Labor)

Understanding Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Provides information on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including making decisions about using CAM, selecting a CAM provider, and financial issues. Also in Spanish. (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

Understanding Medical Research
Quick overview of medical research, including how to find and understand research results. (National Institutes of Health)

Understand Your Health Insurance and Medicare Options
Information to help you understand Medicare, Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap), managed care, and other health insurance options. (American Association of Retired Persons)

Understanding Your Tests
General information on understanding laboratory tests. (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)

Usual, Customary, and Reasonable Charges Defined
Explains the use of a predetermined set of fees made by health plans. (Patient Advocate Foundation)

What is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine?
Explains the difference between D.O.s and M.D.s and gives a history of osteopathic medicine and physicians. (American Osteopathic Association)

Where to Write for Vital Records
Information for each state on where to obtain birth, death, marriage, and divorce records. (National Center for Health Statistics)

Which Medical Specialist for You?
Explains what a physician specialist is and describes each of the specialty boards. (American Board of Medical Specialists)

Your Health Record
Explains what your health/medical record is, how you can access your health record, and privacy issues related to health information. (American Health Information Management Association)

Your Medicare Coverage
Frequently Asked Questions
Provides information about health care benefits in the Original Medicare plan. (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)


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