You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. You have nothing to hide if you have nothing to fear.
So fear nothing and you need not hide. Hide nothing and you need not fear.

The motto of the Department of Homeland Decency

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ask The HMO Accountant

With health care reform on the ropes and everyone sick to death of hearing about it, we decided to once again open our doors to those who need medical help. The clinic is open and the HMO Accountant is in to help you with your medical problems. Remember: this might be the best medical care available to any of us in the very near future future.

Dear HMO Accountant,

I slipped on some ice and ended up buried in a snow drift for three hours before someone walking their dog saw me. If it hadn't been for them, I might have died! As it is, I suffered severe frost bite and am just lucky that nothing had to be amputated. Anyway, you denied my claim and I don't get it. I got hurt, went to the ER and got healthy. Why won't you pay?

Sincerely, Freezing in Fargo

Dear Freezing in Fargo,

It's very important that we work hard to keep the health insurance industry healthy and vibrant so that it will be there when people need it. That means we have to turn down many claims that just don't pass the smell test. In your case, if you stop and think about this, slipping on ice is kind of a pre-existing condition. People in Southern California, for instance, don't slip on ice, whereas people in Fargo tend to. That makes slipping on ice a pre-existing condition that you have. So for us to pay for that pre-existing condition would put us on a slippery slope to financial ruin. Profits would drop. Our stocks would tank. And we'd have to cut the salary of the CEO, which, of course, he won't allow us to do. So, you should probably move to Southern California, where, if you do happen to slip on ice, we'll cover it. But, of course, if you are down there and get bit by a snake, well, that's a pre-existing condition down there, because that probably wouldn't happen in, say, Alaska. It's all in that new booklet we just sent out a couple days ago. Did you get a chance to read it over? Take a look at it, and good luck! Stay healthy!

Dear HMO Accountant,

This health care reform debate is driving me nuts. I've got a nervous twitch in my neck that throws my head back and makes me grit my teeth, which not only hurts a lot but makes it really hard for me to get dates. I look like I'm about to assault someone. On top of that, I'm always angry. I eat and drink too much and am getting really fat. And my digestion is terrible – I keep passing gas and that also makes it really hard to get a date. Why don't you all just get behind reform and let's get on with everything and I'll be healthy and fun to be with again. And maybe someone will date me. I'm really kind of nice and smart. And I want to have kids, hopefully before health insurance stops covering child birth. Please.

Sincerely, Lonely in Louisville,

Dear Lonely in Louisville

Maybe it's a good thing you have these problems. Has that occurred to you? Because if you have good health care, there are devious, manipulative people out there who will date you and then marry you for your health insurance. And is that the kind of relationship you want? I bet not. What will happen to that relationship if you lose your insurance? Or if we deny them coverage for something? Well, they'll blame you, and there you go. So you're actually better off with a nervous twitch, staying home and eating and drinking too much than getting into a relationship like that. Believe me. I've been there. So every time I get a letter like yours, I say: Stick with your own kind. Ask to see someone's health insurance card before you go out and buy them dinner. Ask what if covers. And even if they have health insurance, is it as good as yours? Probably not, because we pride ourselves on satisfying our customers. So stay home. Don't watch the news and you'll be better off. And so will we, because you won't meet someone that you marry who we have to provide coverage for. That's a win-win. So good luck. Stay happy. Stay healthy.

Death HMO Accountant,

Can I make an appointment to see a shrink? I have terrible headaches and am nervous all the time and sometimes hear voices telling me to eat Big Macs until I throw up. I think I really need to talk to someone. Will you cover this?

Sincerely, Tired of burgers in Buffalo

Dear Tired of Burgers in Buffalo,

If you go the shrink route, you might get better for a little while, but you'd soon run up against the lifetime limit on your policy. So we don't think you should do that, although you could. Instead, what has worked for others with similar problems, is for you to just talk back to those voices. If you think that would embarrass you, put a cell phone to your ear when you hear them and talk into it. Loudly. No one will suspect anything, and you'd be empowering yourself at no cost to us. That way, we will always be there for you and others when you need us.

Goodluck! Stay healthy! We're all in this together, so let's all row in the same direction!!

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