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Published: May 06, 2024 7 min read
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Rangely García for Money

This is an excerpt from Dollar Scholar, the Money newsletter where news editor Julia Glum teaches you the modern money lessons you NEED to know. Don't miss the next issue! Sign up at and join our community of 160,000+ Scholars.

In journalism school, I was always taught to avoid "alphabet soup," or the tendency to overuse acronyms in my writing. They're confusing and hard to keep track of, like a long-form version of that famous "IDK, my BFF Jill?" commercial.

One place where alphabet soup simply cannot be avoided, however, is in health insurance. It’s an absolute mess of ABCs, making a topic that already feels like it's in another language even more baffling.

Let’s try to translate them.

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What are the most important health insurance acronyms, and are they relevant to me?