Med-Med: Putting the Oh-Oh Into HMO

Our company is once again examining its health care coverage. I know things are tough, but I wasn’t aware of how tough they were until I began reading the brochure the new HMO sent us:
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We welcome you and your company to the growing ranks of the Med-Med HMO family. We at Med-Med believe in a more traditional form of medical treatment.

Q: That sounds great. By traditional, do you mean more personal touch? Family doctors? House calls?
A: Beyond that. Our goal is to step away from the modern confusion of health care and return to an older form of practicing medicine. Medicine doesn’t have to be about fancy machines and cutting edge technology. Our name says it all; Medieval Medical.

Q: Oh. I wondered what Med-Med stood for.
A: That’s our nickname. Cute, isn’t it?

Q: Darling. So, how do I enroll?
A: The first thing you need to do is to fill out your enrollment form. It’s a standard form, name, address, etc. Then you will be asked to choose a primary care barber.

Q: Barber? What’s a primary care barber?
A: The primary care barber is always your first step of treatment. You would see him for your annual exams, bloodletting and adjustments of your bodily humours. The barber will handle many of the basic maladies, like warts or hexes.

Q: Plague?
A: Covered.

Q: Pox?
A: Covered.

Q: Haircuts?
A: Haircuts are cosmetic and therefore not covered.

Q: Are prescription medicines included in this plan?
A: Yes. You simply take your prescription to any apothecary in our health plan network. Most medications will be covered by a co-payment. We have a two-tier prescription plan where you may choose between brand-name leaches or generic leaches.

Q: What if I need to see a specialist for some reason?
A: For warding off evil spirits or a good stretching?

Q: Okay, that.
A: You would first see your primary care barber and get a referral to make an appointment with a participating dentist, midwife or alchemist. As part of our health care network, you get special discounts on unlimited supplies of castor oil, wolfbane, herbs and chicken entrails.

Q: No X-rays, sonograms, EKGs?
A: Nay! Those are tools of the devil!

Q: I notice that the premiums are tied closely to the actuary tables.
A: Yes, at Med-Med, we work very hard to keep our premiums down. One way we can do that is by striding to return to old mortality rates. As a health care provider, we save a lot of money thanks to our middle ages-level of life expectancy. The faster people die, the less we have to provide for their health. And we pass the savings onto you.

So we thank you and your company for joining the Med-Med family of health care providers. Whether it’s a garlic necklace or having a hole bored into your skull to release evil spirits, we’re dedicated to bringing you and your family into the Dark Ages of medicine. Sometimes the old ways are the best.

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