Plain language makes communications easier for the public to read, understand and use the first time they see or hear it. Learn more about plain language or find more plain language word and phrase replacements.
|Avoid||Use||Notes and Examples|
|a number of||some|
|actively participate||be involved|
|additional||added, more, other|
|adolescent||teen or teenager|
|and/or||or, and, or both, and both||Not correct: Call us if you are enrolled in Medicare and/or Medicaid.
Correct: Call us if you are enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid or both.
|annual||once a year|
|applicant||[should usually avoid]||Instead of Medicaid applicant, use person who applied for Medicaid.|
|certified||are approved, will get||Not correct: You are certified for Medicaid on Oct. 1, 2009.
Correct: You are approved for Medicaid starting Oct. 1, 2009.
|check up, check-up||checkup||Federal directive (Frew lawsuit): Use checkup or the Spanish chequeo when referring to a Medicaid medical or dental service provided through Texas Health Steps.|
|chronic illness||long-lasting illness|
|competent||able||Can also use has the skills to.|
|comply||meet the program rules|
|contact us||call us (if only a phone number is listed) / email us (if only an email address is listed)|
|continue||keep getting or keep going|
|dependent||[avoid]||Not correct: Dependent care costs
Correct: Costs for people who depend on you.
|denied||not approved, will not get||Not correct: Your Medicaid case has been denied.
Correct: You are not approved for Medicaid.
|determine||find out, see if, decide|
|disenroll||leave the program|
|disqualified||no longer meets the program rules, can no longer be in the program, not able to get|
|drug, on first reference when referring to prescription medication||medicine, medicines, medication, prescription, prescription drugs||Drug is acceptable on second reference or if context is clear.|
|educated (v) or be informed||learn about|
|effective date||start date, the date you can start getting services|
|eligible||are able to get||Eligible and eligibility are both complex, multisyllabic words. Try to avoid using them by restructuring the sentence.|
|establish||set up, prove, show|
|exceeds||is more than|
|exhausted (v)||gone through, used up|
|feasible||can be done|
|for more information||To learn more: Questions? Call xxx-xxx-xxxx …|
|function||act, role, work|
|head of household||contact person||If head of household needs to be used, provide a definition.
Example: The head of household is the main caretaker of the people applying for services.
|household||[should usually avoid]||Not correct: Household composition
Correct: People living in your home or People on your benefits case.
See head of household.
|impair||harm||This refers to the use of impair as a transitive verb, not a pejorative.|
|implement||carry out, start|
|in accordance with||by, following, per, under|
|in addition||also, besides, too|
|in an effort to||to|
|indigent||people who are low-income|
|individual, individuals||person, people, resident, person receiving services||Use person unless there’s a need to distinguish the person you’re referring to from a multiple-person group.
Individual is acceptable when part of a standardized phrase or acronym such as intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IID).
|ineligible||not able to get|
|information||fact||See for more information.|
|in lieu of||instead|
|in order that||for, so|
|in order to||to|
|in regard to||about, concerning, on|
|maintain your health||stay healthy|
|make sure to …||[should usually avoid]||Not correct: Make sure to apply for Medicaid.
Correct: Apply for Medicaid, or Remember to apply for Medicaid.
|maximum||greatest, largest most|
|Medicaid ID form||Medicaid ID|
|no later than||by|
|permission||agree to, allow|
|persons||people||Use people when it makes sense to do so and when a legal obligation does not require the use of persons. In those cases, the use of persons is permissible.|
|person on Medicaid||person who has Medicaid||Not correct: Texas Health Steps checkups are free as long as your child is on Medicaid.
Correct: Texas Health Steps checkups are free as long as your child has Medicaid.
|physician||doctor, clinic, primary care provider||See PCP/medical home.|
|primary care dentist, dental home||main dentist|
|PCP/medical home||primary care provider or main doctor|
|private health insurance||other health insurance|
|prior, prior to||before|
|process (v)||to work on|
|qualified||are able to get|
|qualified alien||legal immigrant|
|re-enroll||renew, apply again|
|regarding||about, of, on|
|required||need or needed|
|resources (alone)||things you own||You might need to give examples of types of resources.
Example: Report a change if your resources are more than $10,000. This includes things like money you have in the bank, stocks, bonds and cash.
|shots||vaccines, vaccinations||Exception: When writing about flu shots in English materials, the word shot is OK to use.|
|stamped, self-addressed return envelope||pre-paid envelope|
|suffer||–||Avoid when writing about an illness. Suffer can be insulting when talking about conditions like mental illness.|
|third party insurance or third party liability||other insurance|
|time period||Use “time,” or use “period”|
|we are writing to tell you …||[should usually avoid]|
|you are required to you are responsible for||you must|