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John Fenner

RVer Insurance Exchange Health Insurance?

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So does anyone out there have actual experience with/feedback about the RVer Insurance Exchange Health Insurance policy (underwritten by Philadelphia American Life Insurance Company) that Escapees is endorsing on their website? More specifically, the nationwide (non-ACA compliant) PPO plan that pops up at the top of every Google search for full timers under 65? I can find ZERO reviews online...which makes me just a tad suspicious. I read through a forum discussion on a related topic (from fall of 2018)...but haven't seen any further commentary. Thanks! 

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I'm also very interested in some more info about this topic.  My wife and I are looking at health insurance options.  We spoke with a rep from Philadelphia American, and it just seems too good to be true.  

Anyone out there have any experience with them?  Is this a good option for health insurance (not a scam)?

 

 

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19 hours ago, Greenman said:

I'm also very interested in some more info about this topic. 

For many people, health insurance has become the primary consideration in choosing a domicile because the state plays a major part in available policies and premiums. 

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I can't find RV Exchange on the Escapees web site.  I think that Kyle from RV Insurance Exchange is no longer affiliated with the Exchange program.

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Here is a link to Escapees website with RV insurance exchange.

 

https://member.escapees.com/benefits/healthandwellness/

 

I am also hearing that Kyle is not with them anymore, but I spoke with a Mr. Neighbors (I believe) from RV Insurance Exchange yesterday.  He kind of helped ease my worries by pointing my in the direction of the Texas Department of Insurance website, but their website is not very user friendly.  So, it's still hard to find much info on them.

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34 minutes ago, 2gypsies said:

 Guess I'm missing something.

It would seem that you are but that may be because you are not a member of the Escapees RV Club and so can not access the member links? But you can get there as a non-member if you use the direct link to RVER Insurance Exchange

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Looks like Kirk is correct.  The link won't appear until you log in, for some reason.  But it looks exactly the same when you click on the direct link.  

So far, I've searched the BBB website, the Texas Department of Insurance website, I've called the Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Protection Service (1-800-252-3439), and searched the National Association of Insurance Commissioner website.  From what I can find they are what they say they are.  They are currently approved and licensed  to sell insurance in Texas, currently offer policies, the agent that I directly spoke with, Luke M, is also currently licensed (since 2018), and Philadelphia American Life has no complaints against them that I can find.  

My wife and I are schedule to speak with Luke again tomorrow to follow up with any questions or concerns.  

I'll keep ya'll posted on how it goes.

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On 2/18/2020 at 5:51 PM, Greenman said:

From what I can find they are what they say they are. 

What are they saying they are?  Or, more important, what are they saying they're selling? 

I went to the Philadelphia American website and I didn't see anything about major medical insurance, as most people understand the term--a plan that pays your providers for your medical care, subject to a deductible, copays, etc.  Instead, they offer indemnity plans that provide fixed payments to you if you get treatment for certain conditions, regardless of how much the treatment actually costs, and critical illness plans, which provide a fixed payment to you if you get a certain diagnosis, like cancer. 

These products are intended as a supplement to major medical insurance--not as a substitute for insurance.  They are intended to help defray out-of-pocket costs that people with health insurance still face, like high deductibles. 

If you're even considering a fixed indemnity plan, then you should do a very deep dive into how it works, and do NOT rely on the person selling it to tell you everything you need to know, or to even describe it sufficiently.  If there's any thought in the customer's mind that he's being offered medical insurance, then it hasn't been described sufficiently.

None of this is to say that there's no place for indemnity plans in the world.  But this is one situation where any choice should be very informed, because there won't be any way to find out it wasn't actually a good alternative until it's too late.

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I appreciate your comment Blues.  Sounds like you are right on the money.  That's probably why it seems so much more affordable.  My wife and I are still considering it, but it looks like it is not what we are looking for.  We are looking for major medical insurance.  We still need to look into this more.

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My pleasure, Greenman. 

You said you talked to two different agents, and I'm assuming you told them you were looking for health insurance.  And that you didn't come away from those conversations realizing that what they were offering isn't what you were asking about.  Is that the case?

 

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17 hours ago, Blues said:

My pleasure, Greenman. 

You said you talked to two different agents, and I'm assuming you told them you were looking for health insurance.  And that you didn't come away from those conversations realizing that what they were offering isn't what you were asking about.  Is that the case?

 

Kinda seems like it...  My wife and I are ready to start our family and we definitely need full health insurance.  I'm glad we took the time to think it over and look into it further.  I also really appreciate you chiming in to share your knowledge, Blues.  Thanks again.

Guess our hunt continues. 

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15 hours ago, Greenman said:

My wife and I are ready to start our family and we definitely need full health insurance.

That is an issue that most of us here don't give much thought to as the vast majority of regulars here on these forums are well past the age of starting families. It is refreshing having you with us here! You may want to check out the X-scapers over on Facebook as well since they are a much younger crowd, but please do continue to post here also.

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Quote

Kinda seems like it... My wife and I are ready to start our family and we definitely need full health insurance. I'm glad we took the time to think it over and look into it further. I also really appreciate you chiming in to share your knowledge, Blues. Thanks again.


Sigh. This really infuriates me.

The only reason you found out what you would actually be buying is because you posted to an RV message board, and only because some random person decided to take some time to do some research into the company you mentioned's products and describe them to you were you able to find out you weren't actually being offered major medical insurance.

You did everything you could--you presumably said you were looking for health insurance, you talked to two different representatives, and you went even further and were researching the reputation of the company. Shouldn't that be more than enough? And yet only by chance did you get an accurate description of what you were on the verge of buying.

Not only that, I assume you were influenced by Escapees' endorsement of or partnership with RVer Insurance Exchange. We've been through this before. Check out this thread, where Escapees was taken to task by a few of us on their marketing of "healthcare solutions" (it started with a question about a similar program from FMCA--hence the thread title):
http://www.rvnetwork.com/topic/131591-fmca-ppo-plan/

To their credit, Escapees has stopped making possibly misleading claims about what the healthcare solutions they offer. But to their discredit, they instead just slough you off to RVer Insurance Exchange's site.

I looked at RVer Insurance Exchange's site, and there's a link for "health insurance," as Sehc noted. However, there's not even a mention of the primary issue that traveling fulltimers have--access to a nationwide network--and how they in particular can overcome that.

But on the home page, there IS a link for "fixed benefit medical plan," with a "Top Choice" badge above it. Hmmmm.  And if you go to that link, this is what it says, with all bolding in the original:
 

Quote

Fixed Benefit plans offer a fixed benefit payout when you have an illness or accident and can be an excellent alternative to expensive major-medical insurance. Although these are not ‘Obamacare’ ACA plans (therefore not eligible for subsidy) they offer nationwide benefits to RVers that ACA plans don’t offer. The fixed benefit plan we offer allows you to see any licensed doctor or hospital in the country.

These plans could either be used to supplement an ACA plan that doesn’t have a nationwide network to give you nationwide benefits or as a stand-alone nationwide plan. There are no deadlines or enrollment periods so you can apply for these plans any time of the year.

This fixed benefit insurance pays for hospitals services, emergency room, air and ground ambulance, surgery (including assistant surgeon, facility, and anesthesia fees), doctor visits (including second opinions), wellness and preventive, prescriptions drugs, diagnostic lab and imaging, and more.

 

Yes, they use "fixed benefit" twice (not bolded, of course), amid claims of how such plans are better than ACA plans, don't have deadlines, and will pay for hospitals, doctors, emergencies, etc. And yet you talked to two different people about the plan and apparently still didn't understand how it would differ from the major medical insurance you were seeking.

This bears no similarity to what a person would write who wanted prospective customers to really understand that the product is not major medical insurance.  They say it isn't, but only by saying it's an "excellent alternative to expensive major medical insurance" (which it's really not, even though they say it could be used as a "stand-alone nationwide plan," which is true, only if you don't mind that it's nothing like health insurance).  And they say it's not an Obamacare ACA plan, but cite only its ineligibility for a subsidy as an issue with that, and goes on to tout its superiority to an Obamacare ACA plan.  They don't mention that most indemnity plans require medical screening, while ACA plans accept people with pre-existing conditions.

But you could think, "There's only so much space to describe it, and they DO make you call in order to sign up."  Right.  And we saw how far that got you.

The bottom line is that there is no great solution for fulltimers who travel too much to have insurance based on their actual location. Most of them do it by using their mailing address, but there's a poster out there who will issue dire warnings that health insurance is based on your actual location, with no practical suggested alternatives for when getting insurance based on that location is literally impossible due to time constraints and documentation requirements.

So the usual solution, if a person wants major medical insurance, is to have a Florida domicile, and get a Florida Blue PPO plan there that has access to a nationwide network. Or to use a different state, as long as a nationwide PPO plan is available and the state will recognize the mailing service address as valid for domicile (not all do) or there's a relative or friend who will allow the use of their address as your domicile.

The path of least resistance is Florida, and there have been no reports of Florida Blue turning down any claims by a fulltimer using Florida as a domicile and getting based on that.

The problem is that it's expensive, and people who don't qualify for a subsidy are desperately looking for an alternative. And they're easy prey for outfits that sell indemnity policies, or health sharing schemes

I feel for you, Greenman. It sounds like you did everything right and still almost fell into the trap.

 

Edited by Blues

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21 hours ago, Blues said:

So the usual solution, if a person wants major medical insurance, is to have a Florida domicile, and get a Florida Blue PPO plan there that has access to a nationwide network. Or to use a different state, as long as a nationwide PPO plan is available and the state will recognize the mailing service address as valid for domicile (not all do) or there's a relative or friend who will allow the use of their address as your domicile.

If you're talking about qualifying for ACA health insurance, then it doesn't matter if a state won't recognize a mail service address because the ACA is a Federal, not state, program. The ACA is concerned about where you actually reside.

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1 hour ago, Zulu said:

If you're talking about qualifying for ACA health insurance, then it doesn't matter if a state won't recognize a mail service address because the ACA is a Federal, not state, program. The ACA is concerned about where you actually reside.

I'm aware that the ACA is a federal, not a state program.  I was talking about establishing domicile, and a person has to pick a state to domicile in, and not all states are friendly to people using a mailing service (hence the suggestion of using a friend's or relative's address in those states).

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On 2/22/2020 at 5:10 AM, Kirk W said:

That is an issue that most of us here don't give much thought to as the vast majority of regulars here on these forums are well past the age of starting families. It is refreshing having you with us here! You may want to check out the X-scapers over on Facebook as well since they are a much younger crowd, but please do continue to post here also.

Thanks Kirk!  I'll check them out too.  I guess I just thought that both groups were part of the same forum.  I definitely appreciate the help that I've stumbled upon here though!

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On 2/22/2020 at 1:36 PM, Blues said:


Sigh. This really infuriates me.

The only reason you found out what you would actually be buying is because you posted to an RV message board, and only because some random person decided to take some time to do some research into the company you mentioned's products and describe them to you were you able to find out you weren't actually being offered major medical insurance.

You did everything you could--you presumably said you were looking for health insurance, you talked to two different representatives, and you went even further and were researching the reputation of the company. Shouldn't that be more than enough? And yet only by chance did you get an accurate description of what you were on the verge of buying.

Not only that, I assume you were influenced by Escapees' endorsement of or partnership with RVer Insurance Exchange. We've been through this before. Check out this thread, where Escapees was taken to task by a few of us on their marketing of "healthcare solutions" (it started with a question about a similar program from FMCA--hence the thread title):
http://www.rvnetwork.com/topic/131591-fmca-ppo-plan/

To their credit, Escapees has stopped making possibly misleading claims about what the healthcare solutions they offer. But to their discredit, they instead just slough you off to RVer Insurance Exchange's site.

I looked at RVer Insurance Exchange's site, and there's a link for "health insurance," as Sehc noted. However, there's not even a mention of the primary issue that traveling fulltimers have--access to a nationwide network--and how they in particular can overcome that.

But on the home page, there IS a link for "fixed benefit medical plan," with a "Top Choice" badge above it. Hmmmm.  And if you go to that link, this is what it says, with all bolding in the original:
 

 

Yes, they use "fixed benefit" twice (not bolded, of course), amid claims of how such plans are better than ACA plans, don't have deadlines, and will pay for hospitals, doctors, emergencies, etc. And yet you talked to two different people about the plan and apparently still didn't understand how it would differ from the major medical insurance you were seeking.

This bears no similarity to what a person would write who wanted prospective customers to really understand that the product is not major medical insurance.  They say it isn't, but only by saying it's an "excellent alternative to expensive major medical insurance" (which it's really not, even though they say it could be used as a "stand-alone nationwide plan," which is true, only if you don't mind that it's nothing like health insurance).  And they say it's not an Obamacare ACA plan, but cite only its ineligibility for a subsidy as an issue with that, and goes on to tout its superiority to an Obamacare ACA plan.  They don't mention that most indemnity plans require medical screening, while ACA plans accept people with pre-existing conditions.

But you could think, "There's only so much space to describe it, and they DO make you call in order to sign up."  Right.  And we saw how far that got you.

The bottom line is that there is no great solution for fulltimers who travel too much to have insurance based on their actual location. Most of them do it by using their mailing address, but there's a poster out there who will issue dire warnings that health insurance is based on your actual location, with no practical suggested alternatives for when getting insurance based on that location is literally impossible due to time constraints and documentation requirements.

So the usual solution, if a person wants major medical insurance, is to have a Florida domicile, and get a Florida Blue PPO plan there that has access to a nationwide network. Or to use a different state, as long as a nationwide PPO plan is available and the state will recognize the mailing service address as valid for domicile (not all do) or there's a relative or friend who will allow the use of their address as your domicile.

The path of least resistance is Florida, and there have been no reports of Florida Blue turning down any claims by a fulltimer using Florida as a domicile and getting based on that.

The problem is that it's expensive, and people who don't qualify for a subsidy are desperately looking for an alternative. And they're easy prey for outfits that sell indemnity policies, or health sharing schemes

I feel for you, Greenman. It sounds like you did everything right and still almost fell into the trap.

 

You pretty much pegged  what's happening here for me and my wife.  Our problem is that we don't qualify for subsidy, but major medical insurance is still way out of budget.  So this "alternative" seemed to be a perfect fit for us.  I'm just glad all you guys helped us out here.  Sadly, it's just looking like we've got to somehow squeeze a major plan into our budget.  Just wish us luck!

Thanks for everything! 

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4 hours ago, Blues said:

I'm aware that the ACA is a federal, not a state program.  I was talking about establishing domicile, and a person has to pick a state to domicile in, and not all states are friendly to people using a mailing service (hence the suggestion of using a friend's or relative's address in those states).

Actually, we've had issues with quite a few different things (banks, credit cards, amazon...) when it comes to our mailing service.  Hopefully, all of this will begin to change soon with the roll out of 5G networks and more work from home/remote work opportunities.  I didn't even consider that it would be an issue for insurance.  

Guess we never stop learning!  (Hopefully, just not so much of the trial and error type!)

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12 hours ago, Greenman said:

Actually, we've had issues with quite a few different things (banks, credit cards, amazon...) when it comes to our mailing service.

Have you already chosen a place to make your domicile and set up mail service? Even if you have, it may serve better to consider a change. This can be a pretty emotional issue for some folks but you need to remain objective and above the fray. Health insurance has long been a major factor for those who need it but the recent change have made things much more difficult fo those of us who fall outside of what is considered to be the nion orm. The RV community is such a small part of the country's population that we tend to fall through the cracks. 

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On 2/24/2020 at 6:08 AM, Kirk W said:

Have you already chosen a place to make your domicile and set up mail service? Even if you have, it may serve better to consider a change. This can be a pretty emotional issue for some folks but you need to remain objective and above the fray. Health insurance has long been a major factor for those who need it but the recent change have made things much more difficult fo those of us who fall outside of what is considered to be the nion orm. The RV community is such a small part of the country's population that we tend to fall through the cracks. 

Yes...We were using Traveling Mailbox as our service out of Austin, but we weren't happy with their services.  So a few months ago, we switched over to Escapees service, and have everything as far as domicile goes addressed to Livingston.

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On 2/23/2020 at 6:19 PM, Greenman said:

You pretty much pegged  what's happening here for me and my wife.  Our problem is that we don't qualify for subsidy, but major medical insurance is still way out of budget.  So this "alternative" seemed to be a perfect fit for us.  I'm just glad all you guys helped us out here.  Sadly, it's just looking like we've got to somehow squeeze a major plan into our budget.  Just wish us luck!

You said elsewhere that you're using Escapees in Livingston as your domicile.  I know that the ACA exchange doesn't offer any PPO plans with nationwide networks in Texas.  Have you looked at any off-exchange plans?  Since you're not getting a subsidy, there's no reason for you to limit yourself to what's on the exchange.

I'm just curious if there are any off-exchange PPO plans with nationwide networks offered in Texas, by any company.  I assume the only way to find out would be to talk to an agent, or to check with individual companies.  Since I'm not in the market, I'm not going to do that, but if someone else has done it and has an answer yes or no, I'd like to know.

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22 minutes ago, Blues said:

You said elsewhere that you're using Escapees in Livingston as your domicile.  I know that the ACA exchange doesn't offer any PPO plans with nationwide networks in Texas.  Have you looked at any off-exchange plans?  Since you're not getting a subsidy, there's no reason for you to limit yourself to what's on the exchange.

I'm just curious if there are any off-exchange PPO plans with nationwide networks offered in Texas, by any company.  I assume the only way to find out would be to talk to an agent, or to check with individual companies.  Since I'm not in the market, I'm not going to do that, but if someone else has done it and has an answer yes or no, I'd like to know.

I guess I didn't realize that off-exchange was an option.  I will look into that.  Either way, it sounds like a PPO is what I need to look for though.  Right?  (Sorry for my lack of knowledge...Up until this point in my life, I just accepted whatever the school district I worked for offered us that year without question.)

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