The nomadic life is ripe with challenges for those of us too young for MediCare. The newly announced 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace plans make it more difficult than ever to get better full-timers health insurance. Thankfully a few workarounds can help us all enjoy decent coast-to-coast coverage with health insurance options for RVers.
Option 1: Better Full-Timers Health Insurance: Enroll in a Healthcare Exchange Plan
Health insurance plans in the 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov can’t discriminate based on a member’s health history. That makes these plans best for full-timers with pre-existing medical conditions. These plans are also affordable. For instance, about 77 percent of buyers can get premiums below $100, according to a U.S. Health and Human Services report. “If you qualify for a subsidy then an ACA plan could very well be the lowest cost option by quite a bit,” says Kyle Henson of the resource RVerInsurance.com
Sadly, most insurance companies participating in the Health Insurance Marketplace only offer HMO plans that restrict care to members’ home states. What’s more, if you see doctors often and require full-timer’s health insurance this will seriously limit your travels. Should you choose this option anyways, you can get some consistency of care across state lines by enrolling in Telemedicine health care for RVers and purchasing an Accident/Critical Illness (ACI) policy for unexpected hospitalizations.
“These plans work great with any ACA plan and are relatively inexpensive,” says Henson. “Coverage can be available for anyone up to age 70. The best part…no health questions!”
Option 2: Enroll in a Plan Outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace
If you don’t have pre-existing conditions and your goal is finding a better full-timers health insurance plan that covers you anywhere, try shopping outside the Health Insurance Marketplace. Further, if you do this, be warned: many plans will factor your health history into the premium cost – if they’ll cover you at all. And you may need to purchase a secondary policy that meets the ACA’s “Minimum Essential Coverage” requirement. Failure to do so will subject you to higher tax penalties in 2017. The two main ways to shop outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace are by going with:
Health Care Sharing Ministries
This isn’t “insurance” but an “expense sharing program” that requires members to adhere to conservative Christian evangelical values. Members who agree to abide by that faith make a fixed monthly sharing contribution to the ministry. The ministry’s pooled funds cover members’ medical costs. These ministries are exempt from ACA mandates. Members don’t need to purchase an add-on policy to avoid tax penalties.
Medical Indemnity Plans
These plans offer “fixed benefits” each time members see a doctor or go to a hospital. They’re not new plans, but their bare bones coverage doesn’t meet the ACA’s definition of “Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC). This requires health insurance providers to offer no-cost basic healthcare like preventive screenings. If this was your only healthcare plan, you’d get hit with a fine at tax time – until now. Starting in mid-November you can buy a Medical Indemnity Plan with an “Individual MEC plan.”
According to Henson’s RverInsurance.com website, “We will offer nationwide coverage for preventive care with the option to “upgrade” to a plan that also covers other doctor visits, lab work, urgent care, and prescriptions.” You can review a chart that outlines this unique and relatively affordable full-timers health insurance coverage.
Don’t let your road trip adventures end abruptly because you racked up sky-high doctor bills. Use the next few weeks to acquire better full-timers health insurance coverage for your needs in 2017 and keep your adventures rollin’.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.