Healthcare and health insurance can feel like a language all their own. This glossary can help you better understand common terms associated with your medical plan.

  • Alternate ID

    NVIDIA created an alternate ID number to use in place of your SSN. This alternate ID number can be used to identify you in our Cigna Medical, ComPsych, Delta Dental, VSP Vision and Metlife plans. The formula for your alt ID is: 81 + your 2-digit year of birth + your NVIDIA badge number (up to 5 digits). If your NVIDIA badge number is less than 5 digits, simply precede it with enough zeroes to create a full 9-digit number.

    For example, John’s birth year was 1978, and his employee badge number is 6852. His alt ID is: 81 + 78 + 06852 = 817806852.

  • Appeal

    A request for your health insurer or plan to review a claim, decision, or grievance after receiving a denial from the plan.

  • Brand Name

    A drug that has a trade name and is protected by a patent. Because only the company that holds the patent can produce and sell the drug, they are generally more expensive than generic and preferred brand-name drugs.


    The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) provides continued coverage of your health benefits if certain events occur that would normally result in the termination of coverage. Events under which COBRA continuation health coverage can be extended include job loss, reduction in hours worked, death, divorce and other life events. In most cases, coverage under COBRA may be extended for up to 18 months, though coverage may be extended to 36 months in some cases.

  • Coinsurance

    The percentage of the full cost of health care services that you must pay under the medical, dental, or vision plan after meeting any applicable deductible. For example, in any of our NVIDIA HDHP Plans, such as the NVIDIA HSA Plan or NVIDIA HSA Plus Plan, you’ll pay coinsurance of 10% for emergency room services.

  • Copay

    A flat dollar amount you pay for certain covered services. For example, in the NVIDIA PPO Plan, you pay $20 for each in-network office visit.

  • Deductible

    A yearly dollar amount that you must pay before the plan pays any benefits. For example, the dental plan has a $100 family deductible, and the NVIDIA HSA Plans, such as the NVIDIA HSA Plan or NVIDIA HSA Plus Plan, have a $5,000 or $1,500 in-network deductible (respectively) for individual coverage.

  • Durable Medical Equipment

    Equipment and supplies ordered by a health care provider for everyday or extended use. The kinds of material covered may include: oxygen equipment, wheelchairs, crutches, or respirators.

  • Emergency Medical Condition

    An illness, injury, symptom, or condition so serious that a reasonable person would seek care right away to avoid severe harm.

  • Generic

    Generic drugs contain the same active ingredient as brand-name drugs, but they generally cost a lot less because several manufacturers can make them.

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

    A type of health care plan, licensed by a particular state, that provides benefits only if you use providers from the specified network. NVIDIA’s Kaiser Permanente HMO Plan (CA) is an HMO.

  • Health Savings Account (HSA)

    A personal savings account that helps you save tax-free for health care expenses—now and in the future. Learn more about NVIDIA’s HSA.

  • High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

    A health plan that has specified annual deductibles—higher than other plans, like HMOs—and annual out-of-pocket maximum provisions and that satisfies other IRS requirements. HDHPs are often, but not always, offered in conjunction with a Health Savings Account (see below). The NVIDIA HSA Plan, NVIDIA HSA Plus and Kaiser HSA are high-deductible health plans.

  • Imputed Income

    A tax on the values of certain company-provided benefits that the IRS requires you to report as taxable wages.

    If your basic life insurance coverage exceeds $50,000, as well as basic spouse/domestic partner life coverage exceeds $2,000 and basic child life coverage exceeds $2,000, then imputed income will apply on your paychecks.

    For domestic partner coverage, imputed income is calculated based on the difference between the value of the benefit premium (the company’s cost) and the employee’s shared cost, paid on an after-tax basis.

    Use this tax table to calculate imputed income for Basic Life Insurance benefits:

    Age Imputed Income (based on $1,000 coverage per month)
    < 25 $.05
    25–29 $.06
    30–34 $.08
    35–39 $.09
    40–44 $.10
    45–49 $.15
    50–54 $.23
    55–59 $.43
    60–64 $.66
    65–69 $1.27
    70+ $2.06
  • In-Network

    A group of healthcare providers and facilities—including doctors, dentists, hospitals, and labs—that contract with your healthcare plan to provide services at negotiated discount rates. Regardless of your plan, you’ll usually pay less when you use these in-network healthcare professionals.

  • Medically Necessary

    Health care services or supplies needed to prevent, diagnose, or treat an illness, injury, condition, disease, or its symptoms and that meet accepted standards of medicine.

  • Non-Preferred Brand Name

    A drug that has a trade name and is protected by a patent. Because only the company that holds the patent can produce and sell the drug, they are generally more expensive than generic and preferred brand-name drugs.

  • Out-of-Network

    Health care professionals, hospitals, clinics, and labs that do not belong to your medical plan’s network. You’ll typically pay more and might have to file a separate claim for payment.

  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum

    The maximum amount you’ll pay during the year for eligible covered expenses. After reaching this maximum, the plan will pay any additional eligible expenses for the rest of the calendar year. It’s important to note that certain expenses—such as expenses above reasonable and customary fees charged by out-of-network doctors—do not count toward the out-of-pocket maximum.

  • Preferred Brand Name

    These are drugs for which generic equivalents are not available. However, they have been on the market for a time and are widely accepted. They cost more than generics but are less expensive than non-preferred brand-name drugs.

  • Qualified Domestic Partner

    To be considered a “qualified domestic partner,” your partner, must be:

    1. Someone of the same sex or opposite sex with whom you have chosen to share your life in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring;
    2. Someone who is:
      • unmarried,
      • your sole domestic partner,
      • at least 18 years of age,
      • capable of entering into a contract, and
      • not related by blood to a degree of closeness which would prohibit legal marriage in the state in which you legally reside.
  • Reasonable and Customary Costs (R&C)

    A cost is considered to be “reasonable” when it is “customary” for providers in the same geographic location to charge the same or a similar price for a particular service (which means the cost is both “reasonable and customary”). For example, in Santa Clara, $150 is considered to be a reasonable and customary cost for a general doctor’s office visit because most doctors in the area charge that amount.

  • Self-Insurance

    NVIDIA’s health care plans are self-insured. This means that NVIDIA uses insurance companies, such as CIGNA or Delta Dental, to process claims and provide network access. However, all money required to pay claims comes from the general assets of the company. That’s why it’s important that you and your eligible family members become involved in proactively managing your health care to keep costs affordable for all.

  • Specialty

    Medications that treat complex health conditions, including immune disorders, Hepatitis and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Voluntary Benefits

    Specific benefits offered by NVIDIA where you pay the full cost so you have the convenience of paying with automatic payroll deductions.