I authorize my insurance benefits be paid directly to the health care center. Also I understand that I am financially responsible for any balance due. my signature below authorizes HECS and or my insurance company to release any information required to process my claims.

Could you please simplify what does the highlighted word balance due really mean?

Could you simplify the whole passage in simple English please?

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    Due = owed to the health care center (and its associates and outside contractors, such as anesthesiologists and medical laboratories) if the insurance benefit amount + your co-pay + your self-insured amount, combined, are insufficient to cover the full invoice amount (American English terminology) Nov 12, 2015 at 21:37
  • So, due means "owed" and they are basically telling you that you must pay what you owe, which is a bit redundant if you ask me, but that's legalese. Nov 12, 2015 at 23:05
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    Just for the record, I think it's pretty hard to decode stuff like this with a dictionary. This was one of the biggest struggles for me living in a non-anglophone country. Nov 13, 2015 at 15:01
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    @JustinY - Those were my thoughts exactly. I think this is a fair learner's question. This question isn't really "What does this term mean?" question; it's "What does this term mean in this context?"
    – J.R.
    Nov 13, 2015 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


In accounting, the word "balance" means the current value of an account after all the pluses and minuses are applied. An account could be a bank account, a credit card, the equipment owned by a company, or anything else that we want to attach a monetary value to. Many accounts have money constantly going in and out. Your example appears to be about some kind of medical bills. So every time you visit the doctor (or whatever), the amount you owe goes up. Every time you make a payment, the amount you owe goes down. For some types of accounts the balance could be either positive or negative. Like if you owe $100 but for some reason you pay $110, the amount you owe is now negative $10.

When you owe money, there is usually a "due date", the date that you are expected to get it paid. You may have some amounts on an account that are now due and others that are not. In this case, if you have a charge, then they send out the bill, then you have another charge, the first charge is now due but the second charge may not be due until next month (depending on how they do their billing). With medical bills, often you don't owe anything for a visit until after the insurance company pays whatever they are going to pay, and then you owe whatever is left. So the "balance due" is the amount that is due now. It may not be the same as the current balance if you have other charges that are not yet due.

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