Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi, We are planning on full time rving starting in august. My question is: I am disabled and collect SSDI, I am also covered under The VA. My wife however is only 64 and doesn't qualify for Medicare until April. She currently is covered by Obamacare in Maine. I plan on changing domicile to South Dakota for registration purposes. Can I change my domicile to SD and my wife keep Maine for her domicile until the end of the year And then change to SD from Jan. to April?

I know this sounds strange, but because of one of her Medications for Multiple Sclerosis it is important to keep her insurance in Maine and her changing domicile would cancel her insurance.

Any help or suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks,

Kelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ckmpgm said:

I know this sounds strange, but because of one of her Medications for Multiple Sclerosis it is important to keep her insurance in Maine and her changing domicile would cancel her insurance.

The ACA ("Obamacare") doesn't really care about your domicile. The ACA is concerned about where you actually reside. So if you plan to be in SD in August for the immediate future, then SD it is.

Here's the official ACA FAQ on Residency.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ckmpgm said:

So, there is no way for me to change domicile and my wife keep Maine as hers for the next few months?

If you're leaving this August and your wife won't turn 65 until next April, that's 9 months by my count. More than a few.

And, again, the ACA is concerned with where you actually reside.

However, someone will probably come along and say it's ok because they did it or some other reason, but that doesn't change the fact that it's fraud. You may be able to get away with it, but what if your wife has some expensive medical procedures or medications during that 9 months in SD?

Consider this: why not stay in Florida? It has the only nationwide ACA plan of the "big three" full timer states -- FL, TX, and SD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you planning to actually BE in South Dakota from August until April?  If so, moving there would be a "qualifying event" for Obamacare and your wife could change her insurance to her new domicile.  She doesn't have to wait until open enrollment for January 2019 to do it.

But if you're not planning to actually be in South Dakota, your wife doesn't want insurance from there because South Dakota doesn't have any plans with nationwide networks.  That's fine for people who are physically in South Dakota, but for people who use it as their domicile while they travel, that not a good situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you own a house in Maine or rent an apartment?  If you own, will you/have you sold it?

How important is it to you to change YOUR domicile before your wife's birthday?  Doing it for taxes?  How much will it cost you in taxes to stay the extra 9 months?

Cause you know, I think if you keep your vehicle registered in Maine, keep your Maine driver's license, pay Maine taxes and vote in Maine, you remain a Maine resident even if you travel and choose to use a mail service forwarding service in SD.  Then you both change over next April.

If you don't have a physical place in Maine, but haven't officially changed your addresses, I would think you would be "technically" homeless - or "undomiciled" or whatever the new PC term is - but you would still, I think be entitled to all the perqs of being a Maine resident.  Although I would recommend you double check that with an attorney.  The ACLU in some places has a homeless rights project and maybe they could advise you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Optimistic Paranoid said:

How important is it to you to change YOUR domicile before your wife's birthday?  Doing it for taxes?  How much will it cost you in taxes to stay the extra 9 months?

Your post has absolutely nothing to do with the OP's question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/29/2018 at 12:01 PM, Zulu said:

Your post has absolutely nothing to do with the OP's question.

Actually, it does if the OP isn't actually moving to South Dakota to live, as you seem to assume.  The OP said he's changing his domicile from Maine to South Dakota "for registration purposes," which sounds like the typical thing a fulltimer does--choose South Dakota as his domicile while he travels around.  That's how I read it when I suggested that he remain a Mainer until his wife is eligible for Medicare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Blues said:

The OP said he's changing his domicile from Maine to South Dakota "for registration purposes," which sounds like the typical thing a fulltimer does . . .

 

On 5/29/2018 at 3:32 AM, Optimistic Paranoid said:

I think if you keep your vehicle registered in Maine, keep your Maine driver's license, pay Maine taxes and vote in Maine, you remain a Maine resident even if you travel and choose to use a mail service forwarding service in SD.

 

Again, the ACA is concerned with where you actually stay. All the domicile talk confuses the issue with the ACA.

If OP spends a lot of time in Maine, then he'll probably be eligible for Maine's ACA health plans.

If OP spends a lot of time in SD, then he'll probably be eligible for SD's ACA health plans.

OP should be talking with an ACA advisor, not us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Zulu said:

Again, the ACA is concerned with where you actually stay. All the domicile talk confuses the issue with the ACA.

But the ACA obviously didn't anticipate people who would be changing locations so frequently that it would be literally impossible for them to have their insurance keep up with where they're actually staying.  What should that person do?

Put yourself in an ACA advisor's shoes--where would you say a traveling fulltimer's insurance should be?  If it's impossible for the fulltimer to have his insurance match where he's living on a day-to-day basis, then why wouldn't his domicile be the "default"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Blues said:

Put yourself in an ACA advisor's shoes--where would you say a traveling full timer's insurance should be?

But neither of us is an ACA advisor. That's why OP should contact one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you spoken to an ACA advisor and been told that the ACA "doesn't really care" about domicile in any situation, including where residency is so short term that getting insurance related to that location is impossible?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the above posted link;   "Individuals visiting an Exchange service area for a transitory purpose, for example, to attend to a business matter, obtain medical care, or for personal pleasure, do not have a present intent to reside, and do not meet the residency requirement for Marketplace coverage for the Marketplace service area they are visiting."

One does have to use medical facilities covered by their service area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Sehc said:

One does have to use medical facilities covered by their service area.

What do you mean by that?  One of the advantages of domiciling in Florida (and one of the disadvantages of domiciling in South Dakota or Texas) is that Florida offers plans that have a nationwide network, and people with those plans can use medical facilities anywhere in the country, as long as the facilities are in the plan's network. 

That's why Florida currently wins over Texas and South Dakota for people who aren't eligible for Medicare.

As for this thread, Zulu is assuming that the OP (and his wife) will actually be living in South Dakota.  I don't agree with that assumption because the OP said he was going to change his domicile for "registration purposes," not to live there. 

But the OP hasn't been back to clarify.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most, if not all, plans cover emergency treatment when away from home.

I think you may be oversimplifying Fla insurance. Some can afford more than others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no expert, just someone looking into these things too, FWIIW.

From what I've seen it seems to me that if you are traveling full time, then domicile is a matter of where you intend to return, as well as where you establish everything. So, if your wife intends to return to Maine and maintains her taxes, bank accounts, driver's license, etc. there as well as maintains that she is merely traveling temporarily, then there shouldn't be a problem keeping her ACA in Maine. That said, your vehicle insurance will most likely have more of an issue with you having a different domicile from your wife than the IRS or ACA... so it probably won't work out to have separate domiciles anyway.

Usually most states' vehicle insurers have issues about full-timing anyway, part of why the big 3 full time RVer states are so popular. On top of that they almost always require that every adult in your household be included on the insurance plan, and don't really allow for spouses to not be part of your household. This translates to requiring that you and your wife be domiciled in the same state as each other since all but possibly Arizona and Montana require you have your drivers license in the same state as your vehicle insurance....unless you have a residence that it is being garaged for most of the year... and the drivers license is a big part of establishing your domicile. Sometimes you can specifically exclude an adult in your household from your vehicle insurance, but they can never ever drive your vehicle(s) if you do that. This seems to apply even to policies that allow you to have any licensed driver be covered--as it really means any licensed driver that isn't in your household and/or doesn't drive it regularly.

Yeah, it sucks. We're running into this too. If anyone has a good legal solution I'd love to see it.

A bit about our story:

Downsized and got tenants (and a property manager) for our house in Hawaii on a year's lease so we could do a road trip of the US Mainland. (Have been loving it so much we're leaving it open-ended at this point, which works fine for our tenants too). Insurance has been the biggest headache--both vehicle and health insurances, or rather the combination of the two.

We've had to change our vehicle insurance more than once because when we decided to make this trip our insurance provider said they wouldn't cover us more than a month or two on the Mainland.  We were going to start and stop in Washington, so were told to transfer our insurance to an office there, which we did. We told them what we were doing (traveling the US Mainland for a year) and they were fine with it... until we bought a travel trailer and wanted to add that on. Then all of a sudden they needed the trailer to be in Washington state for more than 6 months at a time?? It's a travel trailer, and we're traveling, of course it's going to go with us and our truck that was fine to travel out of state before!?! So... we ended up scrambling to transfer to SD in order to drive legal as luckily I had looked into things already on full timing enough to know it was quick and friendly to full timers. Only thing was... the health insurance. So, I haven't been driving at all so that I can keep my health insurance until we figure out where to domicile. DH has VA, which sorta sucks in many ways, but at least it's nationwide.

Honestly, I don't really care if it's ACA compliant or not, am willing to pay the penalty (which is usually less than a month or two of premiums anyway), but I really don't want to pay huge premiums to not get covered for much if anything until after a huge deductible as well.. and well, I've got some history of what is considered preexisting conditions that exclude me from coverage on other plans as well (even though I don't have any prescriptions, and have less than a handful of doctor's visits in a year (if any))... so it sucks... and I HEAR you. For what that is worth. ;) 

It's been a few months since you posted, but isn't August yet. What did you figure out for yourselves.. or are you still figuring it out?

Edited by JungleJanie
Edited to address how vehicle insurance and registration of different vehicles can be in different states---if those vehicles are garaged/located in those states for the majority of the year

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×