Doctors, hospitals, or medical facilities that are considered part of a health plan’s designated network of providers. In-network providers have contracts with insurance companies agreeing to give discounted services, so that the insured who receive care are able to pay a small copay or lesser overall cost for their service.

Indemnity Health Plan

Also referred to as “fee-for-service”, these plans are somewhat dated, and were used more frequently before HMO, PPO, and IPA plans took over the market. Indemnity plans require policy-holders to pay a predictable percentage of medical costs, and the health insurance company or employer pays the other percentage. A typical example of an indemnity plan would be where the policy-holder pays 20%, and their insurer pays the other 80% for a health care service. Providers define the fees for services, and therefore are variable, but a plus is that you have the ability to choose your providers.

 Independent Practice Associations

Like a health maintenance organization (HMO), with the exception of the fact that a patient can go to the office of a physician instead of an HMO facility to receive care.

Individual Affordability Credits

Also referred to as individual subsidies, these are part of the health care reform law’s individual mandate. The federal government gives premium subsidies to those who qualify on a sliding scale, to individuals and families with up to 400% above poverty level to help individuals afford health insurance.

Individual Health Insurance

A health insurance policy provided by a health insurance company for individuals and families, not through an employer or organization. Premiums tend to be higher with individual plans, because another party is not assisting with payment. Individual policies are regulated under state law to meet certain standards and not exceed certain limits.

Individual Mandate/Individual Responsibility

One of the key elements of the Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2014, that states that all individuals must be enrolled in a health plan that meets a basic set of criteria. Those who are not insured may have to pay an assessment, unless they have very low income and cannot afford coverage, or for other reasons such as religious beliefs. You have the option of applying for a waiver requesting to not pay an assessment, if you do not automatically qualify.

Insurance Cooperatives

A non-profit organization where the individuals who own the company are insured by the company. Created at a national, state, or local level, co-ops can include doctors, businesses, and hospitals as member-owners.



1. HealthInsurance.org, “Health insurance glossary”. http://www.healthinsurance.org/glossary/

2. HealthCare.gov, “Glossary – I”. http://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/i/index.html