Glossary of Terms

Habilitative/Habilitation Services

Health care services that help you keep, learn, or improve skills and functioning for daily living. Examples include therapy for a child who isn’t walking or talking at the expected age. These services may include: Physical and occupational therapy Speech-language therapy Other services for people with disabilities in a variety…

Hardship Exemption

Under the Affordable Care Act, most people must pay a fee if they don’t have health coverage that qualifies as “minimum essential coverage.” One exception is based on showing that a “hardship” prevented them from becoming insured.

Head of Household

If you are unmarried, you may file your taxes as a head of household. Please refer to for more information.

Health Care Authority (HCA)

The Washington State Health Care Authority is a government agency that oversees the state’s two top health care purchasers: Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) and the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program, as well as other programs. For more information visit: or call 1-800-562-3022 for questions about Washington Apple Health.

Health Insurance

A contract between an individual and a health insurance company or provider that requires your health insurer to pay some or all of your health care costs in exchange for a premium.

Health Insurance Marketplace (Washington Healthplanfinder)

A resource where individuals, families, and small businesses can: Learn about their health insurance plan options Compare plans based on costs, benefits, and other important features Choose a plan Enroll in coverage Washington Healthplanfinder also provides information on programs that help people with low-to-moderate incomes and resources pay for coverage.

Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit (HIPTC)

Health insurance premium tax credits (also known as tax credits, premium tax credits, or advance premium tax credits) help lower the cost of your monthly health plan premium. The Affordable Care Act provides tax credits to help you afford coverage purchased through Washington Healthplanfinder. The amount of tax credits you’re…

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

A type of health insurance plan that usually limits coverage to care from doctors who work for, or contract with, the HMO. It generally will not cover out-of-network care except in an emergency. An HMO may require you to live or work in its service area in order to be…

Health Plan Categories

Plans in Washington Healthplanfinder are available in 4 health plan categories – Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum – based on the percentage the plan pays of the average overall cost of providing essential health benefits to members. The plan category you choose affects the total amount you’ll likely spend for…

Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)

Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) are employer-funded group health plans that reimburse employees tax-free for qualified medical expenses up to a fixed dollar amount per year. Unused amounts may be rolled over to be used in subsequent years. The employer funds and owns the account. Health Reimbursement Accounts are sometimes called…

Health Savings Account

A type of medical savings account that allows consumers to save for medical expenses on a tax-free basis. To qualify, applicants must enroll in a high deductible health plan. A high deductible plan usually means higher out-of-pocket expenses, but a lower premium. The funds contributed to the account are not…

High Deductible Health Plan

A plan that features higher deductibles than traditional insurance plans. You can combine a high deductible health plan with a health savings account or a health reimbursement account to pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses on a pre-tax basis.

HIPAA Eligible Individual

This is your status once you have had 18 months of continuous creditable health coverage. To be HIPAA eligible, at least the last day of your creditable coverage must have been under an employer health plan. You also must: Have used up any COBRA or state continuation coverage Not be…

Home and Community-Based Services

Services and support provided by most state Medicaid programs in your home or community that help with such daily tasks as bathing or dressing. This care is covered when provided by care workers or, if your state permits, by your family.

Hospice Services

Services to provide comfort and support for persons in the last stages of a terminal illness, and for their families.

Hospital Readmission

A situation where you were discharged from the hospital and then go back in for the same or related care within 30, 60 or 90 days. The number of hospital readmissions is often used in part to measure the quality of hospital care, since it can mean that your follow-up…


Care in a hospital that requires admission as an inpatient and usually requires an overnight stay. An overnight stay for observation could be outpatient care.


A household includes: Yourself Your spouse, if you’re married Any children you are caring for who live with you Anyone else you include on your federal income tax return (even if they don’t live with you) Make sure to add all your household members, even if they aren’t seeking coverage.