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Healthcare and the RV Lifestyle


MargoA

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Many SKPs have asked me to write an eBook about Healthcare & the RV Lifestyle (available at all major eBookstores). Those of you familiar with my books about the RV lifestyle, know I have been fulltiming for 19 years, so I have plenty of experience with issues on the road. Healthcare, though, caught me by surprise. I had no idea it was so complicated.

 

There is a simple answer though, actually two answers, about how to ensure that no matter where you travel in the USA, you can have confidence that your coverage is there. This applies only to those of you entitled to Medicare. If that date is coming up for you, it is important that you know the plan ahead of time. It can save you quite a bit of money.

 

Those of you under 65, however, have a more difficult situation. Unfortunately I cannot offer any suggestions there, but direct you to the Wheeling-It.com blog. I borrowed part of Nina's healthcare post for the introduction to my book so I could offer some direction to the younger set.

 

Be well,

Margo Armstrong

Blog: MovingOnWithMargo.com

Website: RVLifestyleExperts.com

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For an RVer's health care needs, I suggest Kyle Henson's site http://rverhealthinsurance.com.

 

Though at first I was skeptical of Kyle's site, I found it one of the best RV healthcare authorities on the web -- and eventually bought Medicare plans through his site.

 

Besides Kyle's site, for those under 65 (not on Medicare) there is also the free https://www.healthcare.gov and https://www.healthsherpa.com.

 

For Medicare planning, there is the free https://www.medicare.gov web site.

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Glenn's suggestion for those under 65 has already been discussed at length. I happen to be both an attorney and RN and I strongly disagree with his recommendation. I suggest you look to our earlier discussion on this issue which unfortunately got a little heated. I second Margo's recommendation to review the Wheeling-It.com blog.

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We are fortunate to have a Employee provided BC/BS health care that we could carry over into retirement,Our portion of the premiums are over 4700.00 per year for both of us but between that and medicare our health care bills are near zero.There is a 350.00 deductible each per year.Throw in the Medicare premiums of 104.00 per month and that is another 2496.00. It is much less that many pay for less coverage.We have no problem in coverage of service when in travel.We are now in Florida and we submit through Florida BC/BS/Medicare is never a problem.

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Glenn's suggestion for those under 65 has already been discussed at length. I happen to be both an attorney and RN and I strongly disagree with his recommendation. I suggest you look to our earlier discussion on this issue which unfortunately got a little heated. I second Margo's recommendation to review the Wheeling-It.com blog.

I only suggested they check it out. You disagree with research?

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Those of us with access to Medicare have an option called a "Medical Savings Plan." Some of you may be familiar with this plan (not the same as the Medicare Savings Plan). You pay the Part B premium, select a deductible amount, say $3,000 (for this discussion). The insurance company that sponsors this Medical Savings Plan opens a bank account for you and deposits $1,500 in it. You may use that $1,500 for any medical use that Medicare normally covers. Add your $1,500 to make the $3,000 deductible. Any other medical expenses normally covered by Medicare FOR THE YEAR are paid for by the sponsor. Any money left over of the $1,500 deposit is rolled over to the next year.

 

Does anyone know if there is a similar plan for under 65ers?

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BC/BS and United are the only two insurance companies that I know about that cover you anywhere. One of my traveling friends told me only a few months ago, that changing their mail service zip code changed their insurance plan....just a heads up.

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I only suggested they check it out. You disagree with research?

I happen to agree with Glenn that this is something that you should at least consider. It isn't for everyone and it is a "faith based" organization so if you are not of strong faith it probably won't fit you well. There are several of these plans around which have a fairly long history and can be pretty easily checked out if you are willing to consider them. It really costs nothing at all to learn more about these organizations and how they operate. Most insurance plans from mutual companies began very similarly to how these work A good place to start if you are interested in facts, rather than opinions would be to visit the website of the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries to see how organizations operate.

 

It is true that this subject has been discussed before, but there are very few subjects which come up here that have not been previously discussed and since very little in life remains static and unchanged, it seems appropriate to me that periodic discussion is a good thing. Of course there are those who do not like them. I know very well a family and another younger, retired couple who have been members of such an organization for some time now and they are well pleased with their results.

 

What is Health Care Sharing?

A health care sharing ministry (HCSM) provides a health care cost sharing arrangement among persons of similar and sincerely held beliefs. HCSMs are operated by not-for-profit religious organizations acting as a clearinghouse for those who have medical expenses and those who desire to share the burden of those medical expenses.

This comes from the opening of the explanation of how such organizations work and if you are not one of the people mentioned in this opening paragraph, chances are you will not find it to be what you are looking for.

 

 

BC/BS and United are the only two insurance companies that I know about that cover you anywhere. One of my traveling friends told me only a few months ago, that changing their mail service zip code changed their insurance plan....just a heads up.

We have supplemental coverage from Mutual of Omaha and it covers us everywhere in the USA, like most PPO programs.

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BC/BS and United are the only two insurance companies that I know about that cover you anywhere. One of my traveling friends told me only a few months ago, that changing their mail service zip code changed their insurance plan....just a heads up.

We have supplemental coverage from Mutual of Omaha and it covers us everywhere in the USA, like most PPO programs.

Kirk, I think Margo may have been talking about those RVers under 65 who must buy individual health plans -- if that's the case, then BC/BS and United are the only two companies that offer nationwide plans. Many, if not most, health care providers only offer in-network plans for a single state.

 

For those RVers 65 and over, Medicare Supplement health plans (for example, your Mutual of Omaha plan), like Medicare A & B, are honored nationwide.

 

Be careful not to confuse health plans for those under 65 with those 65 and over. It's apples & oranges.

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I am not against research. However, this is an extremely difficult and confusing area to research. If you feel you can independently assess how these sharing plans are capitalized, despite being exempt from state insurance disclosure requirements and how they treat major claims, then research away.

 

Actual Insurance companies are subject to stringent requirements as to how they advertise their policies, the reserves they hold to meet payment obligations and how they spread rate risks to establish their cost structure. The reason they are subject to such stringent requirements is that fraud is common, the terms confusing, and the potential consequences of making an error--catastrophic.

 

The program recommended by Glenn is NOT insurance. These groups use the religious exemption so they do not need to comply with health care insurance laws. Yes it is less but you get what you pay for. Health insurance is most needed in truly dire circumstances and those are the situations when you are at most risk with this type of faux insurance. Anyone is happy with insurance until they need it. Glenn and I have talked about this before and have agreed to disagree. I mainly object to these plans being proffered as another type of insurance. It is not insurance. Do not be fooled. Additionally, be aware that since these plans circumvent state insurance requirements, states differ in how they treat the plans. Not all states have safe harbor laws which, as the website Kirk posted states,: A “safe harbor law” for health care sharing ministries and their participants is defined as a state that has explicitly recognized the ministerial nature of health care sharing in their state statutes and clarified that state insurance codes are not applicable to the ministries or their participants".

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Never said it is insurance but an alternative. That is why I said check it out. It is a Christian based ideal and I try to say little because of this. Some do not share in my beliefs and it can cause problems and are best not discussed on these forum. Sad but true. It serves us better than ACA did. Millions of members and very satisfied. Some use this and the ACA. If you have both Liberty will share (pay) what the ACA don't. Bottom line is though our cost was 1300 monthly. It is not sustainable. That was a ppo plan with 12k ded.

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Never said it is insurance but an alternative. That is why I said check it out. It is a Christian based ideal and I try to say little because of this. Some do not share in my beliefs and it can cause problems and are best not discussed on these forum.

And that is what I am saying as well. And no matter what someone who don't like them has to say, it costs people nothing but some time to investigate any of the alternatives. Those who earn a living from disputes with insurance companies are not likely to encourage others to even look at alternatives because there is bound to be at least some bias. There are several of these groups who have been successful in serving their members for quite some time. By all means anyone who considers joining one of these does need to be careful and ask lots of questions first. Make sure that you understand what they cover and how much. Be very careful about your sources of information, whether pro or con. You also need to be very careful in choosing any health care insurance plan.

 

As to the Mutual of Omaha coverage being nation wide, I can't say for sure since the AHC bill took effect since I was already on Medicare, but I do know that it did offer coverage to people in states where they were marketing, no matter where in the US they traveled, via their PPO, previous to that time. It is true that things have changed.

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Thanks Zulu, but I was referring to the Medicare generation. This friend, mentioned in the last post, has United with Medicare. Apparently there had been no issues in the past receiving care until the changed zip code. The original discussion on our patio (you know those laid back hours just at dusk when neighbors get together and chat) was about our friends who were leaving to make a medical appointment back in their zip code. During previous discussions (healthcare is a very popular topic these days) I learned that United covered them anywhere. Then, boom, they changed their zip code and their coverage changed.

 

I had heard from other traveling friends that BC/BS had nationwide coverage, but many of my other friends were bound by their state of residency. Just a heads-up, if you now have nationwide coverage, don't change plans.

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Our previous PPO BCBS policy had nation wide coverage. And actually at the time I committed to it, it was the only one I could find. It also was the highest. Too high. A non ppo plan was less money substantially. It would not have worked for us though.

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Thanks Zulu, but I was referring to the Medicare generation. This friend, mentioned in the last post, has United with Medicare. Apparently there had been no issues in the past receiving care until the changed zip code. The original discussion on our patio (you know those laid back hours just at dusk when neighbors get together and chat) was about our friends who were leaving to make a medical appointment back in their zip code. During previous discussions (healthcare is a very popular topic these days) I learned that United covered them anywhere. Then, boom, they changed their zip code and their coverage changed.

 

I had heard from other traveling friends that BC/BS had nationwide coverage, but many of my other friends were bound by their state of residency. Just a heads-up, if you now have nationwide coverage, don't change plans.

 

So these friends had Medicare Advantage?

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As to the Mutual of Omaha coverage being nation wide, I can't say for sure since the AHC bill took effect since I was already on Medicare, but I do know that it did offer coverage to people in states where they were marketing, no matter where in the US they traveled, via their PPO, previous to that time. It is true that things have changed.

 

I, too, have a Mutual of Omaha Supplement because of this advice on rverhealthinsurance.com for RVers on Medicare:

 

"The good news is that the vast majority of healthcare providers in the country still accept Original Medicare. My recommendation is to not do anything to mess that up. In my opinion, the worst thing you can do to your very portable coverage is to trade it in for a Medicare Advantage plan. Instead, I recommend you keep Original Medicare and purchase a Medicare supplement plan to fill in the gaps. Medicare Supplement plans, just like Original Medicare, will go with you wherever you go."

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I suggest that Medicare eligible Escapees contact Heinrich Associates. They have been a commercial member of Escapees for many years. They are Medicare Insurance Specialists who understand the Escapees life style and can assist you in obtaining health insurance coverage that allows you to go to any Doctor or Hospital in the United States that accepts Medicare patients. Heinrich Associates is licensed in several states and can assist those with a Texas domicile as well as those who domicile in other states. Just click the Heinrich Associates links above to find their contact information.

 

According to a recent study over 90% of the doctors in the US accept Medicare Patients and a much larger percentage of hospitals accept Medicare Patients.

 

It is very important that you obtain the correct type of Medicare coverage if you want the coverage to follow you anywhere in the United States that you travel. Don't make an expensive mistake. Know the facts before you make that all important decision.

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