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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Insurance Explained

It's been an interesting week. Over the weekend I heard an older lady in the restroom at the movie theatre talking about how the government decided to solve our nation's social security problem by denying them their medicine (in referrence to the medicare part d plan) so as to kill them all off. I kind of chuckled until I got to the pharmacy to pick up my grandmother's cancer medication and the pharmacy said that the insurance denied it (this is insanely expensive medication that there is no alternative for) then I thought "hmmm...maybe the lady was not far from wrong"

As you all know I work for an insurance company. As it is a new year most of our companies are renewing their plans and making their yearly changes to their benefits. I got the distinct pleasure of being yelled at a woman with a North Dakota accent about her 85 year old mother's retiree plan and how could I live with myself taking the food out of her mother's mouth and the clothes of her back. I wanted to point out that I was not getting any of her mother's money and that I was actually a socialized medicine advocate then I was going to ask her to campaign for the ballot measure when it came out. Ironically these people who yell at me are the same ones who shoot down socialized medicine every time you bring it up.

In tribute I am going to post the following e-mail explaining how insurance works. I have no problem admitting I work for the man and anyone who knows me that I have had a really hard time going against my socialized medicine viewpoints (healthcare should NOT be a business it should be a guarantee)....anyway,hope you enjoy the funny :-)

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 Moe of the Three Stooges,
who discovered that a patient could be made to forget the pain in his
foot if he was poked hard enough in the eye.
Q. I just joined an 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 in the
plan. The doctors basically fall into two categories--those who are no
longer accepting new patients, and those who will see you but are no
longer participating in 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 and a diploma from a third world country.
Q. Do all diagnostic procedures require
A. No. Only those you need.
Q. Can I get coverage for my preexisting conditions?
A. Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment.
Q What happens if I want to try alternative forms of
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 if I'm away from home and I get sick?
A. You really shouldn't do that.
Q. I think I need t! o see a specialist, but my doctor insists
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 your risking is the
$20 co-payment, there's no harm in giving it a shot.
Q. Will health care be different in the next century?
A. No, but if you call right now, you might get an
appointment by then.

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