Health Maintenance

One of my first jobs out of college was for Blue Shield. It was around the time that insurance carriers were starting to experiment with HMOs. The theory was that if your health insurer took a proactive interest in your health and spent more money on preventative measures, they would save money in the long run by avoiding expensive medical conditions. Of course anyone who has ever been a member of an HMO knows that the primary things HMOs do is to control costs by denying service -- either through doctor unavailability or by requiring preapproval for procedures and calling them medically unnecessary.

My idea for this story was this -- what if an HMO not only worked according to theory, but actually helped their patients get really healthy, like immense bodybuilders, minus all the steroids and their side effects. Hey, it's fantasy, right?