As an RVer, one of the things that you must have in mind is getting health insurance. Whether you are planning to live or currently living in an R.V. or van full time or even part-time, you should know that having health insurance is essential, especially now. Getting health insurance can be confusing and challenging, especially if you have to choose the best because living in an R.V. means being on the road all the time. Some insurance companies implement a policy only to use the insurance if you are in a specific location. So, let me share with you, give you ideas and help you get the best health insurance while having the time of your life living in your dream R.V. or van.
What are the health insurance options for RVers? The health insurance that an RVer can choose from is Obamacare, fixed indemnity plans, Telemedicine, short-term insurance, safety wing, and medical cost-sharing.
Since this topic can be crucial for new RVers, I will be happy to share all that you have to know about RVer’s health insurance. This article is a quick yet full of information guide that will tell you about the terms, things, policies of health insurance that an RVer must know or must get. So keep reading, fellas, because this is going to help you with your van life goals!
Getting Familiar With Health Insurance
Hi! In this section, I will tell you the basic things you need to know about health insurance. This will surely answer all your whys, where, and what so enjoy!
Having health insurance is like having a hero by your side all the time. We cannot say what will happen when we are on the road, so it is best to get health insurance to protect you from high which means you don’t have to pay high medical cost from your pocket and save you if something wrong happens while traveling *cross fingers*. Sounds great isn’t it?
Health Insurance Helps
Aside from health insurance can save you from paying high medical bills, it also offers extended help, allowing you to have someone as your beneficiary and spend less for covered in-network health care. If you ask what covered in-network health care means, this is one of health insurance’s programs wherein you will pay less for the same services when using your provider. So, for example, if you are already insured and want to use your network provider service, you will only spend $20 instead of paying $35 for one flu shot or whatsoever.
One more thing about how health insurance can help is that you can get free preventive care. Preventive care prevents or helps detect a serious illness before it gets worse. For example, it will provide flu shots, immunization, screenings, check-ups, and other tests to help you keep safe from having severe disease.
Note that if you already had a plan from Marketplace year 2018, You don’t have to pay the penalty of people without coverage.
Now that you know the benefits and how vital health insurance is to RVers, let’s move on to the things that an RVer must check.
In getting health insurance, RVers must:
Check The Coverage Of The Insurance Company
When getting health insurance, the number one thing that you have to check is the health insurance coverage, which includes the doctor’s services, hospital care, mental health care, and other services you think must be included. It would also help if you asked about their policy regarding what age is allowed for your dependents. And when I say coverage, it’s not just that. Since you are an RVer, you should also ask if the health insurance is valid nationwide because some health insurance does not offer services all over the country. Sometimes, some health only approves requests within the location that they said.
Look for Telehealth
In these modern times, where consultations can be done over the phone, Teletech can be a great help if you are on the road and far from a clinic or hospital. It is also great in this time of pandemic where people are hesitant to go outside, especially when going to hospitals.
Knowing Your Risk Tolerance
Picking the best health insurance also requires taking a risk. You should know your risk tolerance, and you must understand what chances or types of hazards most bother you. These include your expectations on the insurance you will get, goals, and what experience you’re looking for with your health insurance provider..
Still Save For Emergency Fund
Having health insurance doesn’t mean you should have a complacent attitude. Although health insurance can prevent you from paying high medical bills, in some ways, you should still save for emergency funds when something unexpected arises.
Remember That HSA Only Works With ACA
If you choose the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare (which will be mentioned later) remember that HSA or Health Savings Account only works in this kind of health insurance. A tax advantage medical plan or saving account in the United States is available to people enrolled in high-deductible health plans.
You Have To Determine How Much Care Do You Need
Although you are enrolling in a health insurance program to have a high deductible and pay less for your medical bills, you should also know or determine how much care you need in health insurance. In this case, you will have either enough or extra funds in the health insurance, which, someday, will surely save you.
Different Types Of Insurance
You’ve made it! We are halfway through our health insurance journey, and this is about the different types of insurance that you must also know.
First on the list is catastrophic insurance. This health plan or insurance offers low minimum fees but high deductibles that will surely help you with your medical needs. This type can help you pay unexpected medical expenses that you cannot pay from your pocket.
Unlike other health insurance, you can only use catastrophic insurance in crucial emergencies. Yes, this may sound a bit funny, and you indeed have a question in your head saying, “why would I choose this insurance if I’m only able to use it if something terrible happened.” However, this type of health plan can still help you save more. It covers essential health benefits, preventive care and is perfect for healthy people under 30 years old who love to do outdoor activities and those of any age eligible due to financial problems.
It is by far one of the popular health plans nowadays. Although some said that health sharing services are not considered insurance, the plans are under the ACA. Meaning to say, it is an affordable healthcare benefit while avoiding the penalty before going uninsured.
Health-Sharing service is similar to the co-op where members pool their money each month and pool it for the other members. Health Sharing Service is the newer concept of faith-based where organizations are mostly religion-based. It doesn’t mean you have to participate in one of those religions but still, they ask you to agree to live morally and have a healthy lifestyle in return, like not using drugs, drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking, etc.
The only downside of this health plan is that not all services are covered so it is suitable for healthy people, those who don’t have or lack access to insurance on employers or government, and also to those who cannot afford health insurance.
Travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers the expenses and losses connected to traveling. Therefore, travel insurance can be beneficial protection to those people who are domestically traveling abroad.
When hiring a travel agency for your trip, they usually offer travel insurance covering 24/7 emergency services like replacing a lost passport, cash-wire assistance, and re-booking a trip or canceled flights. Some travel insurance also has policies that may duplicate existing coverage from the other insurance providers.
Travel insurance also offers two types of medical insurance policies, either short-term medical or primary medical coverage. In short-term insurance, the policy covers the client days to a year, while primary medical coverage is for travelers planning to take longer trips ranging from 6 months or more. It will help the traveler with their medical fees and locate doctors or professionals and hospitals.
Refers to a health care provider that is not connected to your health insurance plan. If someone uses an out-of-network care provider, the health services might cost more since the provider doesn’t have contact with your current health plan. But sometimes, it also
depends and won’t cover health services at all.
Of course, you want health insurance that can shoulder your expenses when things go out of hand. And that doesn’t work with out-of-network care, meaning if you’re away or in a different state, your plan won’t work and will not cover services, which means you’re going to pay your medical bills with the money you have.
In Nationwide Care, it is a must that every citizen should apply their health plan under it. This health insurance is applicable for people living in the exact location for six consecutive months. You’d be the one who is going to apply for coverage that is within your budget. It costs lower than the other health insurance because there is only one insurance company that handles it.
Other Government-Run Insurance
If you have elders with you on your van life journey, consider getting medicare health insurance when you need someone that can assist them in meeting hospitals, medical, and other health costs. Medicare was made to protect older people 65 years or older but it is also for people below 65 that have disabilities, end-stage renal disease, or kidney failure.
Medicaid is a public health insurance for families and individuals in the United States with low income. Medicaid also qualifies persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and elderly.
The Health Insurance For Full-Time RVers and Leisure Travellers
Go Get That Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, was signed into law in March 2010. Obamacare aims to provide affordable health insurance for all Americans and it is one of the popular health insurance policies protecting people from other company’s dirty tactics.
Obamacare is ideal for people who have existing conditions that require them to meet a doctor regularly. One of the policies in Obamacare is that they are not allowed to turn down people with pre-existing conditions because they believe that they are the one that needs to be protected the most.
Also, this insurance is best for RVers with low income but keep in mind that it can become expensive for RVers working remotely and earning a high income.
Obamacare offers traditional health insurance, and the good thing is it will let you pay from your pocket once you meet your deductible.
The Downside of ACA
Although there are lots that you can get from the Obamacare program, it still has downsides that you must know. For example, it can have high deductibles, and it also requires you to return to the states if you have treatment because now, Florida is the only state left that offers Nationwide Service of ACA.
Getting To Know Fixed Indemnity Plans
Instead of paying your health care provider for some of their services, fixed indemnity plans provide payment for a hospitalized person each day.
Worry no because fixed indemnity plans work all over the country and are suitable for healthy people.
If you are on a tight budget but still want to get protected, this insurance plan is perfect for you because, unlike ACA or Obamacare, FIP offers cheaper services, and if you earn some more, you can add another program on your budget.
The Downside of FIP
Yes, FIP is cheaper but sad to say, it is not for everyone. It may also decline you based on your pre-existing conditions, and it will only cover a fixed amount to various treatments and services.
Because Sharing Is Caring, Let Us Talk About Medical Cost Sharing
Medical Cost Sharing works by having your insurance company as your copay. So you will pay some of your health insurance, while your health insurance provider will shoulder some of your healthcare costs. Medical cost-sharing is more affordable than the other options, so it’s no wonder that people choose this health insurance. For example, if you visit a doctor, 30% of the fee will come from your pocket, and the other 70% will be from your health insurance.
It is also available nationwide to provide you the best health plan that can help you whenever you need it and is available worldwide. However, you are going to pay some expenses to avail the worldwide service.
The good thing about it is that you can have an unlimited visit to Teledoc with no extra charges.
The Downside of Medical Cost Sharing
Unlike the ACA or Obamacare, medical cost-sharing has government insights and is not considered health insurance, but its services and plans are good.
Also, when you apply for this program, do not be surprised if they will refuse to cover your pre-existing conditions because there is this policy wherein they have the right to decide and limit what not and what to cover. The organization is also not required to pay your medical bills.
Fly With Safety Wing
We’re talking about people who live in an R.V. or travel a lot, and the Safety Wing insurance company is perfect for them! Safety Wing is an insurance company that offers services to people away from their home country. It is best for people who are remotely working while having the time of their lives.
Safety Wing insurance companies give full coverage for cancer, COVID-19 treatment, and other serious illnesses a traveler might get while traveling.
Check their website here.
The Downside of Safety Wing
Since Safety Wing’s top priority is people living outside of their home country or working abroad, you will have to follow their number 1 rule before you apply. You cannot have the Safety Wings insurance or use their services if you live in the United States. You will have to show them an address and some supporting documents to prove that you live outside the U.S. Other than that, Safety Wings is an insurance company that can help you wherever you are.
Hello? This Is Telemedicine
One of the best health insurance that an RVer can choose is Telemedicine. We are in the modern time, and so is our health system! Having access to healthcare services as an RVer can be very challenging. But through Telemedicine, you can get full access to what you are concerned about.
Telemedicine uses phones, apps, emails, and anything that uses technologies to reach their clients. It is an innovative way for the providers to show their help and care to their clients or insurance holders. Clients can get their diagnoses, medicine prescriptions, and check-ups without walking into the waiting room.
Telemedicine fits best for RVers because of its service, and it comes with high deductibles! American Medical Association (AMA) claims that almost all of the appointments doctor’s visits can be done over the phone for non-emergency situations.
Don’t worry too much because Tele doctors are U.S board-certified and licensed to practice medicine and are available 24hrs.
The Downside of Telemedicine
Telemedicine can give clients the best service, and that is no doubt. The only downside of this health insurance plan is on the side of the provider. It can be pretty expensive for them to set up and maintain. Also, since some of the illness needs to be checked face to face, it cannot get diagnosed by Telemedicine or Tele doctors by doing the phone assessment.
Short-Term Health Insurance
Short-term insurance is an affordable option for people that love to travel for a short period. Although this is only temporary, short-term insurance is still worth getting, for it can still protect you from paying expensive medical bills. People that are healthy and do not visit doctors regularly are the ones who are perfect for getting short-term health insurance because they can only use this when they most need it.
Short-term health insurance coverage is not like what you can get in ACA. Primarily it covers check-ups, hospital visits, and appointments, but be aware that this is only valid if it is not related to pre-existing conditions. In addition, almost all short-term insurance does not cover maternity care, mental health care, and other illnesses, so be sure to know and understand all the coverage and rules of the short-term insurance you chose.
The Downside of Short Term Insurance
Getting short-term insurance can be a bit risky if you get seriously ill or injured, and they can also drop you from their plans. It may also come with high deductibles, so I suggest getting this plan together with other health insurance that can help you long-term.
Some Affordable Options For You
We’re not done yet! If you are still confused about what health insurance to get, I provided some other health insurance options that might help you.
Health Insurance Marketplace
Health Insurance Marketplace isn’t insurance, but they offer a lot of options that you might want. It is a shop where you can find some affordable options that suit your budget for health insurance. You can find them and enroll through web pages, call centers, and also through in-person help.
Tip when shopping for family health insurance, you must provide the details about your income. Also, it would be best if you got health insurance from the health insurance marketplace because you will know the best health insurance based on your budget and the number of people in your household.
To apply in the health insurance marketplace, you must live in the United States, must be a U.S citizen. And remember that the health insurance marketplace won’t be helpful if you are earning in large to moderate-income.
A fixed benefit insurance plan is another option that pays a fixed amount of funds that cover the expenses for selected benefits, illness, or conditions that are included in your plan.
The fixed-benefit health insurance serves as another additional option for providing another funding source for your insured future bills.
To know more about fixed benefit insurance. It is widely used as a benefit plan because of its service’s coverage like hospitalization personal accident cover, but be aware this doesn’t mean that fixed benefit insurance will cover all your medical expenses. However, its plan can protect those that are not covered by typical health insurance but the client can choose what he or she wants in health insurance coverage.
Like any other health insurance, a fixed benefit also offers a payout for the pre-insured claim, but this might negatively affect the policyholder, depending on the hospital’s policy.
Whether you are a type of person who visits doctors regularly or is healthy enough but just wants to be protected if something happens on the road, health insurance is essential. In getting health insurance, don’t forget the things you must consider to know the best health insurance for you and your household—choosing the best is not like buying clothes in a department store wherein you choose it because you want it. It should be like buying fruits or vegetables. You will pick and purchase it because you know it can help. Learning all the policies of your health insurance provider before applying is a must, mainly because you are an RVer who needs to consider many things like the coverage and plans.
I hope this article enlightened you about the different types of insurance available in the market. Hopefully, this can help you choose what suits your needs as an RVer!