Skip to main content

Health Information Center

Terms to Help You Succeed with Links

Government Programs

Medical Assistance (MA)/Medicaid – A Federal and State funded insurance program that is primarily based on income.  This is not welfare and you will not receive cash assistance.

Medical Spenddown – Means that you meet all eligibility requirements for Medicaid except for income

MN Care – Medical Assistance from the state of Minnesota

Department of Human Services (DHS) – A Minnesota state organization committed to bettering the lives of Minnesotans by helping them meet the most basic needs to live in dignity and achieve their highest potential

MNSure – A state wide resource that provides access to private health insurance and public assistance programs

Tax Equity and Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) – A MA program that provides service to children with disabilities and chronic illnesses that live at home with their parents and meet a specific set of criteria

State Medical Review Team (SMRT) – Determines if a child is disabled and issues a certification.  This is the first step in receiving MA and SSD

MNChoices Assessment – A web-based application that integrates an assessment and support planning for all people seeking access to Minnesota long term services and supports

Parental Fee – A monthly fee that parents whose children are receiving TEFRA may have to pay based on their adjusted gross income

Adjusted gross Income (AGI) – In the United States income tax system, adjusted gross income (AGI) is an individual's total gross income minus specific deductions. Taxable income is adjusted gross income minus allowances for personal exemptions and itemized deductions.

Cost Effective Insurance Reimbursement – The County in which you live may determine that your insurance premiums are cost effective and you met specific criteria and may receive a reimbursement.

Consumer Support Grant – A state-funded alternative to Medicaid home are services of home health aide, personal care assistance and/or private duty nursing

Community Alternative Care (CAC) – Individuals with disabilities that need the level of care provided in a Hospital.

Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) – Individuals with disabilities that need help to live in the community rather than a nursing facility.

Developmental Disability Waiver (DD) – Individuals with developmental disability or related condition to receive help to remain in home and community instead of Intermediate Care Facility.

Brain Injury Waiver (BI) – Individuals with traumatic brain injury that are able to function well enough to participate in rehabilitation services in their home or community and need greater levels of service than can be attained by other waivers.

Support Planner – A person who has been certified by DHS as someone who understands the consumer-directed community supports service, person-centered planning and the process of developing a support plan.

Supplemental Security Income – Minimum basic financial assistance for older adults/people with disabilities with very limited income/resources. Often supplemental by the state.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – Supports those who are disabled and disabled and have a qualifying work history, either from their own employment or that of a parent/spouse.

ABLE Account / 529 ABLE / 529A Account – A state run savings program for eligible people with disabilities.  For the most part this is exempt from SSI and Medicaid assets limit and earnings from federal income tax.

Patient Assistance Program (PAP) – Prescription assistance can be offered in the way of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), which are created by pharmaceutical companies to provide free or discounted medicines to people who are unable to afford them. Each program has its own qualifying criteria.

Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) – Ensures that students with a disability are provided with a Free Appropriate Education.

Consumer Directed Community Support (CDCS) – This is an alternative funding stream for individuals on waivers who wish to “self-direct” their services, or tailor services to meet their needs. 

Health Insurance

Health Care Coverage Premium – Your monthly insurance payment

Individual Health Care Plan – Health insurance provided to employees by an employer or an association to its members called group coverage.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – A Health Insurance Plan that limits coverage to Doctors and providers who work with the HMO.  This does not cover out of coverage care unless it is an emergency.  You would need to be referred to a specialist in order to see one.  Costs less month to month than a PPO.

Preferred Providers Organization (PPO) – A health insurance plan that has created a network of providers that you can see at a lower cost. You can see a doctor that is not in network and still get coverage after filing a claim.  More expensive but you have more freedom to see whom you want.

Day to Day Living

Intermediate Care Facility – A long term care facility that provides nursing and support to residents under the direction of physicians

Daily Living Tasks (DLT) – Also known as activities of daily living, there are basic tasks of daily living basic ADL’s  and instrumental tasks of daily livings IADL’s

Basic Activities of Daily Living (Basic ADL’s) – The things many people do when they get up in the morning and get ready to go out of the house: get out of bed, go to the toilet, bathe, dress, groom, and eat.

Instrumental Activities of Daily living (IADL’s) – Are not necessary for fundamental functioning, but they let an individual live independently in a community

Medical Terms

Preventative Healthcare – Measures taken to prevent illness/disease instead of treating a disease.  For example getting a flu shoot prevents you from getting the Flu.

Medical Home – Also known as the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), is a team-based health care delivery model led by a health care provider to provide comprehensive and continuous medical care to patients with a goal to obtain maximal health outcomes.

Managed Care – A health care system in which patients agree to visit only certain doctors/hospitals/providers, the cost of the treatment is monitored by the managing company in hope to lower the cost of health care

Personal Care Assistant (PCA) – Home health or personal care aides, give assistance to people who are sick, injured, mentally or physically disabled, or the elderly and fragile.

ABA Therapy – A scientific discipline concerned with applying techniques based upon the principles of learning to change behavior of social significance. 

School Support

Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP) – A plan for special services for young (birth to 3 years old) children with developmental delays.  After 3 the child can then receive and IEP

Individualized Education Plan (IEP) – A document created for all public school children who need special education.  The purpose is to help the children meet educational goals.

Individual Interagency Intervention Plan (IIIP) [pronounced triple I - P] – To be used in place of an IEP, IFSP, and ISP to assure the development of a coordinated, multi-disciplinary, interagency intervention system for children 3-21 years old.


Guardianship - A legal arrangement under which one person, a guardian who is appointed by a court, has the legal right and duty to care for another, the ward, because of the ward’s inability to legally act on his or her own behalf due to mental or physical incapacity. A guardian has the powers and duties over the ward’s person.

Power of Attorney - is a written document often used when someone wants another adult to handle their financial or property matters. A Power of Attorney is a legal form but is NOT a court form. A Power of Attorney cannot be used to give someone the power to bring a lawsuit on your behalf. Only licensed attorneys can bring lawsuits on behalf of the individuals they represent. The Power of Attorney is obliged to act in your interests and can be revoked at any time.