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Blues

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  1. No, I didn't miss that. In fact, it was the basis of my statement that you had health insurance in a place where you weren't residing (Arizona, while being California residents), and were traveling to your "health insurance state" to get medical treatments. So you were doing the same thing as you're telling other people they can't do. Not difficult. Impossible. You have to apply for insurance by the 15th of the month before you want your coverage to start, and if you're using a SEP, you have to have documentation supporting your move. Suppose you're in Montana on the 14th and plan to arrive in Wyoming on the 3nd of the next month but aren't sure where you're going to stay, and then you're going to head for Colorado on the 20th . How should you handle the health insurance so that you're covered the entire time? I sure seems to me that it's literally impossible to arrange it to have "local" health insurance in that case. How would you accomplish it? I did. I said I will be traveling all over the country for an extended period, not staying in any one place for any particular time, and what should I do about health insurance? The rep consulted someone and came back and said I should keep the plan I have. It's no different from the advice given to snowbirds--you can keep your plan while you're living in that other place if that works for you, or you can switch plans for the time you're in the other place, but are cautioned that your deductible and out-of-pocket maximums will reset if you do. Traveling fulltimers are just snowbirds writ large. But there aren't enough of them for lawmakers to actually consider them when noodling out details, and there's no lobbyist to bring us to their attention. Just because their particular situation isn't mentioned in an explanatory document doesn't mean the law doesn't cover them. The purpose of the ACA is for people to have affordable healthcare. Maybe high premiums and deductibles affect whether the "affordable" part is fulfilled, but the cornerstone of the ACA is making health insurance available to everyone. It would be contrary to the purpose of the ACA to have a situation where there's no health insurance available to someone just because he travels too much to change his insurance every time he resides somewhere new, or where even if he could figure out how to do it would have his deductible and out-of-pocket maximum reset every month.
  2. I suppose the explanation could be that you're never in one place long enough to get health insurance there, so you used your domicile as the default. After all, the intent of the ACA is for people to have health insurance, and if using your domicile is the only way to do it, then what else are you supposed to do? By your reasoning, your claims should have been denied because you were getting insurance in a place where you weren't residing. In fact, you were visiting there solely to receive medical care, which the FAQ says is forbidden. The bottom line is that the ACA was written without any thought to people moving around any more than snowbirds do, who alternate between residences, and are told they can pick one to have health insurance throughout the year, or they can change each time they move (and are warned that deductibles reset if they change). For traveling fulltimers, it would seem they have the same choice--they can pick one place to have health insurance throughout the year, or they can change when they move. For most of them, it's impractical and often impossible to change each time they move, so they use one of the options given to showbirds and choose the one place, and the obvious choice in that case is their domicile.
  3. I don't have Escapees mail service so I have no idea what screens y'all are seeing, but what compelling reason is there to have a rounded-off number in a "balance" field? Just put the actual balance, and let the person looking at it round it off in his head if he wants to. Rounding it off serves no purpose and apparently actually causes confusion. There's no reason for even a "general snapshot" to not be accurate in this day of computers, and in fact, the website has to go out of its way to render a rounded-off number. I don't get it.
  4. Back in the day, people usually automatically ruled out any state with a state income tax, but I think that given the cost of pre-Medicare individual health insurance, a state with an insurance plan that has appropriate coverage should definitely be in the running even if it has a state income tax. Now, that state may not be as easy for fulltimers as one of the big three, but at this point, if I needed individual health insurance, I wouldn't rule out any state just because of a state income tax.
  5. That's interesting because SBI used a similar workaround for voter registration, and it worked until the Supervisor of Elections decided it didn't work. The opinion from the Florida Department of State focused on the fact that the address used for voter registration was not a residential address, and in your case, the county clerk's office address clearly isn't a residential address. Also, I saw the OP's question posted in another forum, and one of the responses reminded me that I'd seen before where he said he got the address on his license to match his SBI mailing address by getting the license in a county away from SBI, where they didn't recognize the address as being nonconforming. Just thought I'd add that for those following along.
  6. The "two addresses" thing with Escapees has always given me pause, so I'm with you on that. If St. Brendan's Isle is telling you what the address will be on your driver's license if your mail service is with them, then I would believe them. And as far as I know, SBI is the only mail forwarder that has to do that. Also, the Supervisor of Elections in Clay County (where SBI is) apparently has it in for them, and last year there were issues with voter registration of SBI customers--he was purging SBI voters, and I think refusing to register new ones. If registering to vote is important to you, you might ask SBI what the current status is. I'm not sure if it would matter that (I assume) you're already registered to vote in Florida--you'd think you wouldn't have a problem, but since voter registration is done on a county-by-county basis, you might. The Good Sam Club has a mail forwarding service in Crestview (near Pensacola). I know nothing about them except that they exist, and I'm not really a fan of Good Sam. But from reading their website, it appears they don't do the jinky thing with automatic forwarding to a Texas address. I don't know about the address for the driver's license--they don't say anything about that, but neither does SBI and we know they have to do it. https://www.goodsammailservice.com/ You didn't mention health insurance, but if you need to buy an individual policy and are going to be traveling, you need a non-HMO plan with a nationwide network and those aren't available in Texas or South Dakota. They are in Florida (Florida Blue EPO), and I know you can get one with an SBI address, and I assume you can with the Escapees address (or at least I've never heard anyone they're not offered in that county), but I don't know if Florida Blue offers EPO plans in the county where the Good Sam mail forwarding service is, but it's not hard to find out if you just enter the zip code at healthsherpa.com or healthcare.gov and look for plans.
  7. Is you car a manual or automatic transmission? I ask because I have a manual BMW (1999 M Coupe) and looked it up on the Remco website, and it says "Must be towed using a trailer." BMW had no position I could find about towing behind an RV, but the manual said if it's towed (presumably by a tow truck), not to go over 50 mph and not for more than X minutes or something. But we've been flat towing it for 15 years of fulltiming--just put it in neutral and turn the key to show the digital odometer, and then back just until the odometer disappears. I'd guess it's been towed for 85,000 miles or so, at regular highway speeds for hours at a time. Well, other than being beat to hell by 85,000 miles of being towed in addition to 200,000 miles of being driven. Also, I noticed that the Remco site says this about 2017 and 2018 Subaru WRX STIs: "Towable as is with speed and/or distance restrictions. Please see Owner's Manual for confirmation and procedures." But in 2016, Subaru stopped "allowing" flat towing, and took mention of it out of the manual. The suspicion is that they did it so they wouldn't have to cover warranty claims relating to flat towing, because the car itself didn't change. Especially if you're not concerned about warranty issues, I'd suggest that if you want to flat-tow your Miata, do some internet searching to see if other people are doing it with that exact car. And of course decide whether you trust whoever says they're doing it. And, if you do find people and hit them up for information, PLEASE respond to them if they provide it. I can't count the number of times people have run across our website that says we flat-tow the M Coupe and asked for specifics, and we always reply, and they never even acknowledge the reply.
  8. By saying "still" qualifies, it sounds like you're saying that someone with an emotional support dog realizes it doesn't qualify as a service dog, he can deem it a service dog anyway if he has any physical disability. That's not the case. In order for a dog to be considered a service dog for someone with hearing loss, the dog has to be trained to perform tasks that compensate for the hearing loss. mr. cob said that he has trouble being around loud talking and noisy people, but also that he doesn't hear well. I don't see what training a dog could have that would compensate for his not hearing well. He said his dog is trained to react to PTSD-inducing situations. He doesn't need to rely on a physical disability "loophole" for it to be considered a service dog. The thing is, you did disclose it, without anybody even asking. The question that you found offensive was what tasks the dog had been trained to perform--not what your disability was. One way to look at it is service dogs are trained to recognize and respond in a way a person can't do himself. Like a diabetes dog--it can detect by scent if its handler's blood sugar levels have gone wonky ("recognize") and alert the person to the condition ("respond"). Or a seizure dog for a kid can see the kid's having a seizure ("recognize") and alert family members ("respond"). That's where the training comes in, and training has to be something that a dog doesn't naturally do, like make its owner feel less anxious when in public. That's why asking what tasks an alleged service dog has been trained to perform can be quite useful, and it's clear that "he calms my anxiety" doesn't cut it.
  9. If a person with a service dog doesn't need/want accessibility features in a room, the hotel can't limit him to one of those rooms--he has the same right as anyone else to stay in any room in the hotel, with his dog.
  10. No, I don't think the law works well. But the idea behind the ADA is that disabled people are entitled to the same access as everybody else, and therefore shouldn't have to carry credentials. Added to that is the concern about privacy (why you can't ask what a person's disability is). But on that note, I think that anyone who uses Facebook has voluntarily relinquished any claim to privacy, and should be treated accordingly. But I would imagine that with as bad as it's gotten, disability advocates might agree to some sort of licensing. The problem then becomes the mechanism for the licensing, which presumably would be a governmental function, and given how government is currently being dismantled, I don't see much hope for establishment of a new licensing function. I don't agree that you have to accept whatever answer you get because the law says a person can be asked what tasks the dog performs, and the answer you posited ("My dog provides me support when my condition manifests itself") doesn't answer the question that I am allowed to ask. So if I were in that situation, I would ask: "What tasks has the dog been trained to perform?" In fact, I would probably push it just a little if I thought the person was particularly bogus, and ask, "What tasks has the dog been trained to perform that compensate for your disability?" Note that I still haven't asked what the disability is. And actually, I found out that how I would handle the "None of your business" (mentioned upthread) was pretty much exactly upheld in a Delaware Supreme Court decision, so I think I'm on the right track. And everyone, please note: There is the ADA, on the federal level, as well as state laws, which might be different from the ADA (like they might allow animals other than dogs or miniature horses to be service animals). I haven't researched it thoroughly, but it's my impression that falsely claiming to be disabled or entitled to use a service dog is an offense in only about half the states. And I'd be shocked if it's a high priority item in the prosecutor's office. (Although I think a few well publicized prosecutions, in states that have harsher punishments, would be an excellent use of taxpayers' money.) Also, as for fear of lawsuits, my understanding is that if a person sues a business for an ADA violation relating to service dogs, he isn't entitled to any money damages; his only remedy is injunctive relief (i.e., the business is forced to let the plaintiff bring the dog in). Have you seen a lot of animals in restaurants? Health codes generally prohibit animals in areas where food is prepared (except service animals, of course). That's why some restaurants will allow pets on outdoor patios, but not inside. Again--absent any laws prohibiting it otherwise (like health codes), businesses can allow animals anywhere they want. In the interest of fairness, you should probably find out if the hotel has a policy that allows pets. If that's the case, then by all means blame the barking dogs on the hotel. But if it doesn't, and allows service dogs because it's required to by law, then it's not really the hotel's fault. Unless, of course, it does a terrible job, like many businesses, of applying the law correctly. What's interesting is that hotels can't designate certain rooms for people with service dogs. But if they allow pets, or don't allow pets but choose to allow emotional support animals, there's nothing prohibiting the hotel from designating certain rooms for them, or from charging for the animal (you can't charge extra for service dogs). And if the hotel is choosing to allow animals other than service dogs, if those animals bother other guests, then those guests have every right to complain. (And actually, if a service dog is being unruly, the business can kick it out. But that almost never happens with real service dogs. And in fact one of the "tells" that an animal isn't a real service dog is if it's not perfectly behaved.) But don't be confused--the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act provide protection for emotional support animals in dwellings (not temporary lodging) and airplanes, respectively. That's one reason everything is so muddy--people can legitimately have an animal in no-pets-allowed housing if it's a service animal OR it's an emotional support animal. Same for airlines. But nowhere else is an emotional support animal required to be accommodated. (Like the hotel--if they allow emotional support animals, it's because they want to; there's no law requiring them to do it.) And people don't realize the the housing and airplane accommodation is different from the rules relating to service dogs, and once they find out they can fly with their pet on their lap or have it in no-pets-allowed housing if they just get a letter prescribing it, then they think they can take the pet anywhere. That's why it's so important for people who know better to challenge them when they try it. It could be that they're actually unaware that what they're doing is wrong, especially if they just heard they could get certification to take the pet on a plane, and don't do any further research. Asking the allowed questions could actually educate these people. Then again, there are those who know full well what they're doing, and frankly, you can't do anything about it. If a person is willing to lie about a disability in a way that answers the two questions satisfactorily, then yes, they'll get to take their dog with them. But there's absolutely no reason to make it easy on them. People with a legitimate disability and a trained service dog that performs tasks related to that disability should expect to be asked those questions, and should have a particular answer at the ready if they're reluctant to identify the disability. And these days, with fake service dogs making their lives harder, they'd probably welcome the hassle if it meant less abuse of the system.
  11. I can't tell--are you aware that there's a difference between emotional support animals and service animals? Or, more commonly, a person who wants to bring his dog with him everywhere paying someone to sign the paperwork prescribing an emotional support animal, and then using people's ignorance about the laws relating to service animals to be able to take their pet wherever they want. Under the ADA, monkeys can't be service animals. Only dogs and miniature horses. This was explained upthread. Well, they're wrong, and should be told they're wrong. Not only can they question someone, the ADA actually states the exact questions they can ask! Sheesh. And the thing is, business can generally let in any animal they want--there are no laws that I know of, other than health codes, that say you can't allow animals in your place of business. So if Home Depot wants to allow pets in, that's their call. But just do it because that's what you want your policy to be, and don't get all balled up in service animals vs. emotional support animals vs. pets. Because that makes the people who are passing their pets off as service animals think it's one more place where their ruse is working.
  12. I think it's a lot easier to lie by saying, "None of your business," than to lie by articulating tasks the dog has been trained to do that are related to a disability. And I also think there might be a different level of guilt experienced by someone who just woo-hooed his way through the questioning by saying (and getting away with) "None of your business" compared to someone who actually had to lie about having a disability and that the dog has been trained to do X to compensate for it. Many people don't even consider themselves to be lying if they believe they have a valid reason (like Lance Armstrong). So they can say, with all honesty, "This is a service dog," because they think the dog performs a service for them. But it could be different for them if they are made to utter actual words about a disability and training that they know not to be true. And people might lie about that without compunction. But I highly suspect there is not an insignificant number of people out there who are doing it just because it's easy to get away with, and they'll stop when businesses start pushing back. One thing for sure--as long as "none of your business" is accepted as a response, nobody is going to stop.
  13. The fact that vests were ever even mentioned tells me that they weren't really up on what the standards for service dogs are. If it were me, I'd say, "We allow only service dogs that are trained to perform a task on behalf of a person with a disability, and we have to ask what those tasks are in order to determine whether to allow your dog in as a service dog. If you won't tell us what those tasks are, then your dog is not allowed." Sure, they could give you some sort of b.s. answer, but taking "None of your business" as a response and letting the dog in is not at all what the ADA requires or even anticipates. And it gets the word out that "none of your business" works, which makes everybody start using it. If people were made to straight-out lie about what tasks the dog is trained to perform, their consciences might start to kick in and they'd stop with the charade. But if all they have to do is "kind of" lie by slapping a vest on the dog or saying "none of your business," then frankly, I don't blame them for doing it; it's our fault for making it easy for them to do that.
  14. I was very careful to ask exactly what the ADA says can/should be asked with regard to service dogs. Anyone with a service dog should expect to be asked that very question, whether he wants to educate anybody or not. And to be frank, getting offended by it is something I expect more from someone with a chihuahua wearing a "service dog" vest in a shopping cart.
  15. See, that's the problem. Service dogs aren't required to have a vest, so vests shouldn't even be mentioned when it comes to service dogs, ever. So to have a policy not to ask about a vest is the right and legal way to do it, but to combine that with not asking anything else is wrong, and that ignorance of the law by businesses is what lets people get away with this. If you'll give me the name of the NWR, I'll be happy to contact them and direct them to information on how service dogs are handled under the ADA. Or maybe they just want locals (their friends) to be able to bring their dogs onto the beach?
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