when someone tells you who he is, believe him

The consort of the Dark Goddess has always provided health insurance coverage for the family. As the health insurance industry has changed over the years, so too has the packaging of our coverage.

I recall a time in the late 1990's when HMOs were all the rage, so we dutifully signed up for one. I wish I could remember the organization, because I would definitely name it and shame it here (I might be able to glean that data from my Big Book o' Medrecs, come to think of it). I do know it wasn't Group Health, which I regard as sui generis in any event.

The very first action of this HMO was to send us a lovely gift: a hefty paperback titled Take Care of Yourself: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Medical Self-Care. It didn't actually have the words And Leave Us Alone! printed on the front cover, but it might as well have.

I see from amazon.com that this book went through at least nine editions through 2009, and there are hundreds copies available for a penny each, so sending this book as a "benefit" to HMO subscribers must have been a pretty common practice.

I wonder still about the thought process of the HMO marketing maven that led to the conclusion that sending this book would be a good introduction to the HMO. On the other hand, it has the rare virtue of representing truth in advertising.

ETA: I found the book! And I therefore can now name and shame the company:

 When an institution tells you what it is, believe it.