We haven’t had health insurance for over a decade but with the new affordable healthcare act (Obama Care) we (and all Americans) have hit the point where we either pay a tax (first years fine is 1% of annual income) or get covered.
Health insurance, much less RV friendly health insurance, is a fully loaded and complicated discussion. Everything from your state of residency, age and income level all play into, and determine, what kind of coverage you can get and how much it will cost. So, naturally we have been dreading the task, fearing the costs and considered just paying the fine to further avoid the issue!
It was all much ado about nothing. We let society (TV, radio, news, blogs…) scare us into thinking that getting affordable RV friendly healthcare was going to be a tedious, time consuming and costly adventure. And maybe for some it has been, for us that is far from what actually went down this week. It was all much ado about nothing.
Within just a few clicks on RVer Insurance Exchange and a couple of emails to verify we were indeed choosing the right coverage for us, it was all said and done. All that fuss and it was no muss.
I am happy to say that for the first time in over ten years, we have health insurance!
I will share the plan we choose and costs but first there are a few things you should know.
We are most certainly not experts on the subject. We did however consult an expert, Kyle of RVer Insurance Exchange and if you are a part time or full time RV traveler, we encourage you to do the same.
Why? Because not all plans are created equal and it’s important to understand what’s covered and where it’s covered. Kyle is a fellow RV traveler so he understands our challenges, needs and knows how to maximize benefits and minimize costs.
“I am not your typical insurance agent. I don’t believe you need to insure every single aspect of your life. Over-insuring is a result of a society over-exposed to fear-based marketing and consumerism.”
We wanted to get enrolled before the cutoff date (December 15th) and considering this is our first time in a very long time to have insurance we wanted to make sure we were choosing the right plan.
We’re healthy young adults that rarely need medical care, we have residency in Texas and make a modest income as small business entrepreneurs. We don’t need a plan that offers copay doctor visits or drug discounts so there’s no reason for us to pay extra for those options. Peace of mind is what we’re looking for. We want to know we will be taken care of if we have a crazy wreck, get cancer or fall off a cliff while hiking.
This led us to a very affordable high deductible HMO plan and a fair warning from Kyle as he does not recommend HMO plans because they are risky for travelers traveling outside of their home state.
“I do not generally recommend HMO plans because they will not cover you outside of Texas unless you have a medical emergency.”
A PPO (like the BCBS PPO 006 or 005) plan will be better for nationwide coverage of both emergency and non-emergency coverage.”
We are not concerned with non-emergency care as much because we have been paying out of pocket for those rare instances for years. For us, it more about covering the big scary stuff or an adventure induced accident like falling off a cliff or breaking a limb. So, if that means we need to get ourselves back to Texas for insurance reasons, we are prepared to do so and understand the risks that come with that.
For us, the HMO makes the most sense, but most certainly don’t take that as a recommendation for you! For us, we have not had insurance in over 10 years so even limited catastrophe coverage is better than nothing at all. For us, the HMO is affordable and enough coverage to get us taken care of should that unexpected emergency happen. Should we need to get ourselves back to our home state of Texas for ongoing medical coverage, our home is on wheels and we can do so.
Now, let’s talk about the best thing since sliced bread…Telehealth.
Telehealth, Best Service Ever!
For the other non-emergency stuff we signed up for Telehealth (also offered through RVer Health Insurance) which should help us out with anything non-emergency in a more convenient and affordable way. Totally worth the whopping $15 a month!
“Telehealth is the use of phones, apps, emails, and computers to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Telehealth is an innovative way for patients to communicate with health care providers and possibly receive care, diagnoses, or prescriptions without having to walk into a waiting room.
Gaining access to healthcare services on the road can be very challenging. RVers are often hundreds of miles from their primary care provider. Many of us like to seek out remote or unfamiliar areas to camp and that often puts us many miles from any healthcare provider at all. Some RVers likely put off seeking medical attention simply because of the inconvenience factor of finding a provider that we can trust and will take our insurance! Furthermore, since most of us have high deductible plans, many of us simply don’t go to the doctor because we don’t want to pay the high costs of an urgent care visit, office visit, or even ER visit.
I believe telehealth is an ideal fit for RVers! It can bridge the gap between cost and care and save us a lot of time in the process. The American Medical Association (AMA) states that 70% of doctor’s office visits can be handled over the phone and 50% of ER visits are non-emergencies.”
2015 Telehealth Update****
In January of 2015 we both came down with a cold and rather than our usual method of avoiding a costly doctors visit, we reached for our Telehealth info. I went online, requested a phone chat with a doctor and within 15 min. we were chatting with a well spoken and very through doctor! The process was incredibly easy, fast and effective. He was able to diagnose what was going on, wrote a prescription and had it sent to the pharmacy just down the road from us. 24hrs later we were already feeling much better thanks to the meds.
Best part was, we were in the comfort of our RV, no waiting around in a room full of other sick people, no office visit fee and the only expense we incurred was our prescription! It still blows me away. If there is one thing I would recommend every traveler to have, it is Telehealth. (I am not affiliated with any of these products in any way at all, just telling our experiences).
Our Final Results
So, in less than one hour of research and $110 a month (the HMO plan and telehealth), we are officially insured. Now we can continue our dare devil acts traveling around the country with a lot more peace of mind.
Our choice of health care coverage works for us and most likely will be different for you. Each family’s needs and financial situation will vary but one thing is for sure, finding out what your options are is easy. Like most things in life, it’s only as difficult a task as we make it. In just a few clicks you can have options and an “ask Kyle” button.
If you have another great source to share, a tip or anything at all, we would love to have you join the conversation. However, this is not a political discussion and we want to steer conversations in a helpful and encouraging direction.
- RVer Health Insurance
- Big RV Questions – Residency, Mail & Health Insurance
- Mexico For Medical – What You Need To Know
- Technomadia – Healthcare & Health Insurance for Full Time RVers
- WheelingIt – The ACA (aka ObamaCare) & Its Impact on FullTime RV Health Insurance
Disclaimer – We were not compensated to write this article nor did we receive any discounts or products/services for free. We share our choices and experience to help others.