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What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is a person or organization that is entitled to receive benefits from a benefactor. Legal and financial documents typically require a beneficiary to be listed. 

For example, when a person enrolls in a retirement plan or creates a will, they will name a beneficiary who will receive profits or other benefits, typically on the death of the benefactor. 

In healthcare, a beneficiary can refer to individuals who receive health insurance through a private health plan, Medicare or Medicaid.  

Why are beneficiaries important to healthcare?

Beneficiaries are important because they indicate which individuals under a health plan are eligible for certain services, like coverage for prescription drugs, hospital insurance and medical insurance.