Also known as: preauthorized service, prior authorization, prior approval or precertification

Preauthorization means your doctor contacts your health care company to make sure your care is covered before you receive it.

Preauthorization isn't a promise that your care will be covered. Even if your care is preauthorized, your health care company still needs to review the claim your doctor submits after your care is completed. Preauthorization helps you and your provider (for example, a doctor or hospital) avoid unexpected health care costs.