The New Yorker
by Bruce McCall September 7, 2009
Welcome to the monthly newsletter about your health-insurance problems, not ours.
Note: Charges for the enclosed Supplementary Health Insurance Reminder will appear in your next billing cycle, for which payment is now past due.
Something to Think about: Contracting a serious illness can mean days off work just lying in bed, new adventures of the mind and body through medication, overdue personal attention from loved ones, and new friends in the hospital ward and the clinic waiting room. And you may be the one who catches a disease that’s making world headlines and brings television crews to your bedside.
Did You Know: Human illness adds two trillion dollars annually to America’s gross domestic product. Are you contributing your fair share?
Sentences set in small type make a handy eye test. If you can read this without difficulty, your eyes may be too strong and you will need the prescription drug Corneac R (dollarmycin-B) to return your vision to normal. Consult your pastor about the choice between sightlessness and personal bankruptcy.
—All of you “Far Horizons” Fifteenth Tier Plan subscribers may now choose any doctor you like, who will then refer you to the list of approved cheap doctors, ex-doctors, doctors-in-training, and veterinarians.
—“Near Horizons” Sharing & Caring Plan members: Some misunderstandings about this plan have arisen lately. Sharing your hospital bed does not reduce the per-day costs of your hospital stay, and you will be legally liable if your bedmate contracts a communicable disease.
—Be sure to ask about the new “Invisible Horizons” Plan, providing discounts and a free ballpoint pen on hospital bills of more than a million dollars per week for any fifty-two-week period when you cannot get out of bed.
—The new “Artificial Horizons” Plan for prosthetics will no longer provide separate prosthetic toes. See Pamphlet 567-A-2099 for a limited-time-only “Five-Pak” prosthetic-toe kit. (One foot per subscriber.)
—Feeling poorly? Ask about our new “Eternal Horizons” Plan option, which includes an afterlife provision covering basic medical care for eternity. Have your executor call 1-800-RIV-STYX for details. Cryogenic “Eternal Horizons” subscribers, or their survivors, must provide a matching body and head.
Explanation of Benefits
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Q. & A. of the Month
Q: My current statement lists two hundred and thirty-one charges for “brain surgery,” even though I have had no brain surgery. How can I rectify this?
A: Invalid question. Brain surgery is not covered under your plan.
We are constantly fine-tuning our operations in our relentless effort to make your sickness pay. Some recent examples:
—Prescription-drug prices have been lowered.*
—We’ve reduced costly paperwork by passing it on to you.
*For those subscribers requiring no medication.
—Catastrophic illness depresses and disgusts your family, medical professionals, and, most important of all, your health-insurance provider. It’s best not to spread the misery by burdening us with paperwork, reimbursement requests, and phone calls seeking information you can look up yourself in any medical dictionary. Remember: we are not your doctor!
—Planning your next major illness for off-peak times (see “Early Bird Bargains”) can save you money. Example: visiting the E.R. with a cerebral hemorrhage between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M. on holiday-weekend Mondays can save up to two hundred hours of waiting time.
—Policy change: Charges for use of benches in hospital emergency rooms now extend to any accompanying loved ones or friends and/or attending medical advisers. Ask about the “Standing Room” option.
—Seniors: If you are feeling unsteady on your feet, try to fall down face first. This will amortize your Dental/Disability Combo Package.
A Note to Our Clients
Being sick does not make you “special.” Complaints about pain and suffering, misplaced surgical instruments, hospital-staff neglect or abuse, etc., only earn you a reputation as a chronic whiner. If you still possess the power of speech, warn loved ones not to pester nurses, doctors, and/or hospital administrators, or you will risk adding the code CW (chronic whiner) and related surcharges to your next bill.
In next month’s Fibrillations: “An Apple a Day Isn’t the Only Thing That Keeps the Doctor Away.”
Notice: The truth of the statements contained in this newsletter is not intended to stand up in a court of law and is subject to change without notice. ♦