Figuring out health insurance isn’t easy, even in the most straightforward cases. Now, add the quirk of having no permanent address and a potentially non-traditional job. Do you suddenly see why health insurance for full-time RVers can be so complicated?
While it might make you hesitate about a long-term life on the road, the issue of health insurance shouldn’t stop you. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
Are There Health Insurance Options for Full Time RVers?
The short answer is yes! There are plenty of different options when it comes to health insurance for full-time RVers. However, figuring out which you may be eligible for and what it covers isn’t always an easy task. Options will vary depending on which state is your domicile, or technical residence.
Pro Tip: Check out the Prepare for Full-Time RV course to learn everything you need to know to smoothly transition from your home to your RV.
And even though you might be covered, it might not be what you’ve come to expect from your current insurance. But there’s always some plan available if you’re hitting the road full time.
The easiest solution for full-timers who are 65 and older is Medicare. You’ll be covered everywhere in the United States and able to use any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare.
If you have a Medicare supplement plan, check with your provider for specifics on where and how you’ll be covered while traveling.
Health Insurance Options for Pre-Medicare Full-Time RVers
Younger folks in need of healthcare have several options, either facilitated by the government or entirely private. These options might be available for those 65 and older as well, but they might not be as advantageous as Medicare.
ACA Health Insurance
The Affordable Care Act (sometimes referred to as “Obamacare”) offers various health insurance options depending on where your domicile is as a full-time RVer (i.e., where you officially live, as far as the government is concerned.)
Depending on the state, you might have access to a state health insurance exchange offering various plans. There’s also the national exchange if your state has not set up its own. If you’re using a state-run exchange, select a program that provides coverage nationwide, not just in your local region as some do.
All ACA plans include minimum coverage standards, including preventative care. Prices vary widely, as programs range from minimum catastrophic coverage to high-end “gold” packages.
Depending on your income and other situational aspects, you might be eligible for health insurance subsidies, making these plans more affordable.
Private ACA Compliant Health Insurance
You should also explore private health insurance options in addition to ACA plans. These are often cheaper than ACA exchange insurance, but you might not qualify with pre-existing conditions or face other coverage restrictions, unlike ACA insurance.
Just be sure that they are ACA compliant, otherwise, you may be faced with a penalty in some states for not having appropriate health insurance.
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans for Full-Time RVers
Short-term insurance plans provide health insurance for short periods, usually during a transition between jobs or other insurance situations. At a minimum, they’ll last a month but can run up to 364 days.
These can be flexible and affordable, and you can enroll at any time during the year. However, coverage can be limited, as these plans are not ACA-compliant, and you likely won’t qualify with pre-existing conditions.
If you’re generally healthy, telemedicine can be one of the most affordable choices for full-time RVers. It’s been around for years but soared in popularity as the COVID-19 pandemic increased the demand for remote medical services.
For a very affordable monthly fee (usually under $50), you’ll get varying levels of remote access to a medical team. You can set up phone or virtual appointments to discuss your symptoms, and caregivers can provide advice, write prescriptions, or direct you to in-person medical care for more severe health issues.
But it isn’t a complete solution. Keep in mind that you’ll pay for serious medical treatment out of pocket, as telemedicine service costs generally only cover your consultations with medical providers. Consider it a supplement if you don’t want to go for an in-person appointment or (like many full-time RVers) are in a place where you can’t!
Health Sharing Services
Health sharing services aren’t equal to insurance in the strictest sense of the term. You pay membership fees to a shared fund. Then, when you incur medical costs, you’ll typically pay them out of pocket, and the service will reimburse you from that shared fund.
However, these plans can have significant coverage restrictions or require that you be a member of a certain organization or religion. Plus, some have been accused of not always paying out, even for covered expenses.
Use these services with caution, understand your coverage limitations, and always seek reviews before enrolling.
Self-Employed Group Coverage
Generally speaking, group coverage is how many employer-based health insurance plans work. By buying in numbers, it can sometimes reduce the price of insurance or increase what’s covered.
In certain situations, self-employed individuals can qualify for group coverage, either on their own or in a group of self-employed workers. Popular RV-based insurance exchanges often use this dynamic.
Plans vary widely, and you can’t find them in every state.
Supplemental Fixed Indemnity Plans
Fixed indemnity plans also aren’t technically insurance but can be a versatile option to help pay medical costs. You’ll pay a monthly premium in exchange for a fixed cash benefit, with designated prices and coverage for various medical situations.
These plans will payout regardless of other insurance you have. So you can use them to pay any out-of-pocket costs or deductibles your primary insurance doesn’t cover.
However, as we mentioned, the coverage is fixed. That means it might not be enough in some cases. Plus, you’ll likely disqualify if you have a pre-existing condition.
→ Health insurance is just one of the types of insurance you have before you hit the road full time. Find out which camper insurance is required.
Health Insurance for Full-Time RVers Varies by State
As we mentioned, your options will vary (sometimes dramatically) depending on which state you formally domicile in. Different states have different providers, regulations, and other aspects that can seriously impact the coverage you get or the price you pay.
There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Plan for Full-Time RVers
Unfortunately, finding health insurance for full-time RVers isn’t as simple as pointing to the best plan and signing up. Your age, health conditions, medical needs, and budget all play roles in determining which plans to choose. Consider these matters carefully, and compare and contrast insurance options to determine the best plan for you.
The RVer Insurance Exchange Can Help You Find the Best Health Coverage for You
If researching plans and coverage options seems daunting to you, the RVer Insurance Exchange might be an excellent resource for you.
Experts and trained agents run this site. They know the RVer insurance landscape inside and out and can help you choose the perfect plan for you. The RVer Insurance Exchange also offers excellent tips and resources so that you can educate yourself on your insurance options.
In all, finding health insurance for full-time RVers can be complicated, but it’s a crucial step to making your life on the road a reality. This information will help you evaluate which plans may be best for you.
Don’t hesitate to call in the experts if necessary, and stay healthy out there!
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