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Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): A Federal law that guarantees up to 12 weeks of job protected leave for certain employees when they need to take time off due to serious illness or disability, to have or adopt a child, or to care for another family member. When on leave under FMLA, you can continue coverage under your job-based plan.

Federal Poverty Level (FPL): A measure of income level issued annually by the Department of Health and Human Services. Federal poverty levels are used to determine your eligibility for certain programs and benefits.
(The amounts below are based on 2013 numbers and are likely to be slightly higher in 2014.)

  • $11,490 to $45,960 for individuals
  • $15,510 to $62,040 for a family of 2
  • $19,530 to $78,120 for a family of 3
  • $23,550 to $94,200 for a family of 4
  • $27,570 to $110,280 for a family of 5
  • $31,590 to $126,360 for a family of 6
  • $35,610 to $142,440 for a family of 7
  • $39,630 to $158,520 for a family of 8

Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC): Federally funded nonprofit health centers or clinics that serve medically underserved areas and populations. Federally qualified health centers provide primary care services regardless of your ability to pay. Services are provided on a sliding scale fee based on your ability to pay.

Federally Recognized Tribe: Any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village or community that the Department of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe.

Read the current list of federally recognized tribes (PDF - 6.3 MB).

Fee: Starting January 1, 2014, if someone doesn't have a health plan that qualifies as minimum essential coverage, he or she may have to pay a fee that increases every year: from 1% of income (or $95 per adult, whichever is higher) in 2014 to 2.5% of income (or $695 per adult) in 2016. The fee for children is half the adult amount. The fee is paid on the 2014 federal income tax form, which is completed in 2015. People with very low incomes and others may be eligible for waivers. See "What if someone doesn't have health coverage in insurance in 2014?" for more information.

Fee For Service: A method in which doctors and other health care providers are paid for each service performed. Examples of services include tests and office visits.

Flexible Benefits Plan: A benefit program that offers employees a choice between various benefits including cash, life insurance, health insurance, vacations, retirement plans, and child care. Although a common core of benefits may be required, you can choose how your remaining benefit dollars are to be allocated for each type of benefit from the total amount promised by the employer. Sometimes you can contribute more for additional coverage. Also known as a Cafeteria plan or IRS 125 Plan.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA): An arrangement you set up through your employer to pay for many of your out-of-pocket medical expenses with tax-free dollars. These expenses include insurance copayments and deductibles, and qualified prescription drugs, insulin and medical devices. You decide how much of your pre-tax wages you want taken out of your paycheck and put into an FSA. You don’t have to pay taxes on this money. Your employer’s plan sets a limit on the amount you can put into an FSA each year.

There is no carry-over of FSA funds. This means that FSA funds you don’t spend by the end of the plan year can’t be used for expenses in the next year. An exception is if your employer’s FSA plan permits you to use unused FSA funds for expenses incurred during a grace period of up to 2.5 months after the end of the FSA plan year.

(Note: Flexible Spending Accounts are sometimes called Flexible Spending Arrangements.)

Formulary: A list of prescription drugs covered by a prescription drug plan or another insurance plan offering prescription drug benefits. Also called a drug list.

Full-Time Employee: An employee who works an average of at least 30 hours per week (so part-time would be less than 30 hours per week).

Fully Insured Job-based Plan: A health plan purchased by an employer from an insurance company.

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