Fun_People Archive
9 Jan
Frequently Asked Questions About Health Care

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu,  9 Jan 97 16:13:06 -0800
To: Fun_People
Subject: Frequently Asked Questions About Health Care


Frequently Asked Questions About Health Care
By David Lubar

Q. I just joined a new HMO.  How difficult will it be to choose the doctor
   I want?
A. Just slightly more difficult than choosing your parents.  Your insurer
   will provide you with a book listing all the doctors who were
   participating in the plan at the time the information was gathered.
   These doctors basically fall into two categories -- those who are no
   longer accepting new patients, and those who will see you but are no
   longer part of the plan.  But don't worry -- the remaining doctor who is
   still in the plan and accepting new patients has an office just a half
   day's drive away!

Q. What does HMO stand for?
A. This is actually a variation of the phrase, "Hey, Moe!"  Its roots go
   back  to a concept pioneered by Doctor Moe Howard, who discovered that
   a patient could be made to forget about the pain in his foot if he was
   poked hard enough in the eyes.  Modern practice replaces the physical
   finger poke with hi-tech equivalents such as voice mail and referral
   slips, but the result remains the same.

Q. Do all diagnostic procedures require pre-certification?
A. No.  Only those you need.

Q. What are pre-existing conditions?
A. This is a phrase used by the grammatically challenged when they want to
   talk about existing conditions.  Unfortunately, we appear to be pre-stuck
   with it.

Q. Well, can I get coverage for my pre-existing conditions?
A. Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment.

Q. What happens if I want to try alternative forms of medicine?
A. You'll need to find alternative forms of payment.

Q. My pharmacy plan only covers generic drugs, but I need the name
   brand.  I tried the generic medication, but it gave me a stomach ache.
   What should I do?
A. Poke yourself in the eye.

Q. I have an 80/20 plan with a $200 deductible and a $2,000 yearly cap.  My
   insurer reimbursed the doctor for my out-patient surgery, but I'd already
   paid my bill.  What should I do?
A. You have two choices.  Your doctor can sign the reimbursement check over
   to you, or you can ask him to invest the money for you in one of those
   great offers that only doctors and dentists hear about, like windmill
   farms or frog hatcheries.

Q. What should I do if I get sick while traveling?
A. Try sitting in a different part of the bus.

Q. No, I mean what if I'm away from home and I get sick?
A. You really shouldn't do that.  You'll have a hard time seeing your
   primary care physician.  It's best to wait until you return, and then
   get sick.

Q. I think I need to see a specialist, but my doctor insists he can handle
   my problem.  Can a general practitioner really perform a heart transplant
   right in his office?
A. Hard to say, but considering that all you're risking is the $10
   co-payment, there's no harm giving him a shot at it, eh?

Q. What accounts for the largest portion of health care costs?
A. Doctors trying to recoup their investment losses.

Q. Will health care be any different in the next century?
A. No, but if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then.

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