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Terminology used on the insurance exchanges

Insurance terminology is tough enough to follow when used by official government and industry sources. But the insurance exchange introduces a new range od terms introduced by consumers and public media. Some terms help  with out understanding. Others blur the distinctions, either intentionally or unintentionally. Some terms are purely spin, used for political purposes to sway public opinion about a specific issue.

Gap insurance

Generally refers to short term medical insurance used to cover the period of time between group health insurance plans. The primary benefit of temporary insurance, aside from providing immediate protection for unexpected medical bills, is the reservation of "continuous coverage" under the laws that prevent a new member from incurring a waiting period before coverage is provided for pre-existing medical conditions.

Limited major medical insurance

A potentially confusing term that combines the concept of limited benefit insurance with major medical insurance. Since all major medical insurance has limitations on coverage in the form of deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance, uncovered charges and other mechanisms, this term simply refers to the fact that some medical expenses are not covered by insurance.


This term has different meanings depending on the jurisdiction. The most common usage is a producer, enroller or sales agent for a government run insurance exchange. Note that our OnlineNavigatorTM service is not affiliated with any government-run or private insurance exchange so the term is meant in a different context.

Short term major medical insurance

A policy meant to bridge the gap until permanent renewable coverage is available; typically used now until December 31, 2013. This type of coverage offers a Certificate of Creditable Coverage and is generally priced below other types of medical insurance. This type of policy does not pay or the cost of treating pre-existing medical conditions.

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This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.