South Skunky Schools

Health Insurance Questions

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 a 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 qequivalents 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 - 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 till you return and then get sick.

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

Q - My insurer reimburses the doctor for my outpatient surgery, but I'd already paid my bill.  What should I do?
A - Your doctor can sign the reimbursement check over to you, or you can ask him/her to invest the money for you in one of those great offers doctors and dentists hear about, like windmill farms or frog hatcheries.

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.