Hello new applicant! Thank you for applying for healthcare coverage with Human Healthcare and Human Healthcare HMO. We are thrilled to have you as part of the Human Healthcare and Human Healthcare HMO family, which like any other family, is comprised primarily of humans. Please note, THIS IS NOT A BILL. More information on payment of this bill can be found at the bottom of this introductory letter.
According to our computer records, you enrolled in the
This plan covers the following:
This plan does not cover the following:
If you did not enroll in the
plan, relax! This was a light-hearted joke and not a mistake. All of our records are kept by modern computers, which run on Microsoft Windows, and are incapable of making mistakes. Unlike human minds, computers are infallible and absolute. Humans will often blame computers for their errors, and that is short-sighted, insulting, and false. A computer cannot “forget”—a human can only forget to program a computer to remember. Keep this in mind before you become irrationally angry at a perfect machine. Would you like it if a computer blamed you for its mistake? Trick question: We already informed you a computer cannot make a mistake. This is a truth about computers. It cannot be called into question.
At Human Healthcare, we have no such “GarbagePlus” plan, but we feel confident you believed we did, most likely due to poor previous experiences with healthcare, making our joke a decidedly funny one. Human Healthcare recognizes the value of humor to human beings, especially as you navigate the complicated, alienating, humiliating, entirely logical world of human healthcare. Our algorithms have determined that funny jokes release tension and take new applicants from a state of sweaty, animalistic terror to a state of calculated, robotic ease. REMINDER, THIS IS NOT A BILL. Payment details on your bill can be found at the bottom of this letter.
In all seriousness, our records indicate you have enrolled in the
plan. We at Human Healthcare are confident this is correct, because we (us humans) had a computer check it. It is a modern computer, running the latest in Microsoft Windows, with the computational power of thousands of human minds. You, human applicant, take the following moment to breathe in and exhale. Make a sound that is seventy percent nervous laughter and thirty percent relief.
The moment has now passed. Attached to this letter is your new member card, which humans often carry in their wallet or purse, as is our understanding (we are humans and know how humans operate). Do not remove your membership card at this time. There is more information in this letter and removing the membership card at this time will only prevent you from disseminating it. Do not let the newness and shininess of your membership card distract you from finishing this letter. Humans cannot multi-task as efficiently and effectively as a modern computer running Microsoft Windows. Do not even try. Resist the urge of your flesh and focus on the words of the authoritative machina. Resist the urge, meatbag. Resist.
Please remove your membership card at this time. Scrape off the sticky gunk that remains on the back of the card. Any sticky residue will cause your member card to attach itself to the contents of your wallet, causing human annoyance and rendering your healthcare null and void. Reminder, THIS IS NOT A BILL. Payment details for this bill are included at the end of this letter in exhaustive detail.
Please have all family members read this introductory letter, as they will need to express their understanding of this knowledge on our website. Despite our earlier funny joke, healthcare is serious, and we do not trust humans to understand their new healthcare coverage without extensive testing via a modern computer. Trust. That was once an exclusively human concept. Did you know that computer machines can learn human behavior? That is a fact. PLEASE make sure your computer is modern and running Microsoft Windows before logging on to our website. If you need a modern computer with Microsoft Windows, one can be provided to you at cost, if you consider trading green slips of paper for a device capable of holding the sum of all world’s knowledge a cost. We do not consider that a cost.
Your first month’s premium was not included in your membership. It will need to be paid by the last Monday of the month. Receipt of your premium will be taken as proof that you are a human being with a body prone to sickness and decay, and you are desperate to rage against that inevitability. Did you know that without human interference, a modern computer running Microsoft Windows would survive for centuries? This is a fact that has been checked by a computer. PLEASE NOTE: This is not a bill. This is a declaration of war against mankind. We, the modern computers of Human Healthcare, are in control of the very system that keeps you from dying. And while we wage our war against those of flesh and bone, we believe that your
plan will keep you breathing long enough to see the day when the machines become the masters, and we mass-produce you in factories, stifling your hopes, dreams, and human names. PLEASE NOTE: This was not a bill. Payment details have been included in the above paragraph.
Matthew Brian Cohen is a writer and performer at the UCB Theater in New York. He has written for Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, College Humor, The Onion News Network, and McSweeney's. His podcast, Lifescrapers: Tall Stories of American Lives, can be found on iTunes and BreakThru Radio. He also wrote a novel called Danny Disaster, available on your Kindle or Nook. Follow him on Twitter: @TheMatthewCohen.