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State of Residency


Louisg1564

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We are looking to find information on how registering the RV in a state will give your residency. Our biggest expense on the road is going to be health insurance, depending upon the state of residency we can save up to $7000 per year. Any suggestions on residency?

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When we registered and titled our vehicles in SD, that did not make us residents of the state. We did not become residents until we went to the state, spent at least one night and obtained our drivers licenses providing all required documents in person. We did purchased insurance while we were there , which you usually need from the same state where the vehicles are registered and titled.

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If you're under 65 and want to use the ACA (aka Obamacare) health exchange, first pick a state (or rather pick a state county), Then determine what you need to do to establish residency. You will probably have to examine several places as there are other domicile considerations (taxes, vehicle registration, etc).

 

If you use the ACA, then be advised that the type and the cost of health plans is determined by the county you reside in.

 

Since you will probably want to get an ACA PPO health plan (preferably a BCBS one), that rules out TX and SD. While there are ACA PPO plans available in some TX counties and every SD county, the PPO plan providers in these states do not have national networks like BCBS does.

 

Here are some of the states that offer ACA BCBS PPO health plans . . . AL, CO, ID, LA, NV, WA, and FL (offers EPO plans that act like PPOs).

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Escapees offers members a very good home-base residency option in Texas, a lot of folks use it with very good results but note the info above on health plans.

 

How to become an Escapee - Texan:

 

https://www.escapees.com/knowledge/domicile/texas-domiclie-information

 

They also have some information on options for Florida and South Dakota options for Escapee members.

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Registering your vehicles in a state does not create residency or domicile(the legal issue). Each state has their own laws about what is required in order to register vehicles there and an address is one of those in every case. Only a few of the states will allow you to register vehicles there by using a mail forwarding service as most require you to have a physical home address in order to do this. That is one of the reasons that most RV owners choose states like SD, TX, FL, NV, or one of the few others who will do so. OR has a provision for RV travelers, but you have to actually live there to qualify. You can't just pick the state that suits your desires best, register vehicles and claim you are a resident. Insurance companies are getting more and more careful about this so be careful.

 

I suggest that before you get too far you need to read this article about selecting a domicile and then move ahead with your plans. The recent changes in health care laws have greatly complicated the choices for those who go on the road as full-time RV folks. It was never quite as simple as it somethings sounds, but it is much more problematic today with the results of the Affordable Healthcare Act.

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WY, Alaska and ND also have plans that cover you out of state through Blue Cross but every year could change. Setting up a physical address was the biggest hurdle I found after figuring out who had out of state coverage. Getting to those states in the winter presents a challenge. I finally went with WA where I lived 30 years ago and have some ties after WI told me I could not keep their coverage if I traveled out of the state.

 

I think it is good practice to spend 3 months or so after you set up your new domicile. I am finding getting address changes settled, banking, odds and ends it is still in progress eventhough I hit the ground running when I first came to WA to volunteer at a state park in January.

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