How To Find RV Medical Care As A Full-Timer
One of the most common questions people have before they hit the road full-time is how to find RV medical care as they travel. This is understandable. After all, you give up easy access to your usual doctor(s) when you leave your home state.
The good news is finding medical care on the road is totally doable. You will likely be able to get insurance that works for you, and there are a number of RV medical programs that can help as well.
In this article, we will discuss the most popular options for medical care for RVers, so you know how and where to find help when you need it.
RV insurance options
Finding insurance that works for a full-time RVer can be a challenge. If you’re working for a big company while on the road, you’ll likely have insurance through your employer. Everyone else will have to look into other options.
Look for something that offers nationwide coverage as well as telemedicine visits. If you find such an option in your price range, snatch it up!
Depending on your income level, Healthcare.gov might be a good place to start. Those who fall into moderate and lower income brackets will likely qualify for government assistance with their premiums, meaning affordable healthcare coverage. They will also be able to choose their own plan, meaning they can pick something that offers the aforementioned nationwide coverage and/or telemedicine visits.
Another option is the RVer Insurance Exchange. This company focuses on helping RVers find affordable coverage that will mesh with the traveling lifestyle.
Finally, if you currently have Medicare, there is a good chance that your current coverage will work in all states, removing the need to change things up before you hit the road.
Telemedicine for RVers
Whether or not you have insurance, telemedicine can be a great way to find medical care. Telemedicine allows you to visit a doctor via video call, meaning you can get diagnoses, prescriptions, prescription refills, and more without leaving the comfort of your RV couch.
One of the most popular telemedicine services is Teledoc. Most major insurance companies cover Teledoc visits, but even if yours doesn’t, you can pay for individual visits. Just be ready to pay a pretty penny if you are paying out of pocket.
Another option is to pay a monthly fee for unlimited virtual doctor visits through a service such as Our Doctor, or if you have kids, Blueberry Pediatrics. We especially like these options for those who do not have insurance, as they are a low flat monthly fee. The Blueberry Pediatrics website even includes a set of pediatric diagnostic tools such as a thermometer and otoscope.
Finding in-person health services
Some things cannot be done over video call. In these cases, finding in-person care is necessary. Fortunately, this is almost always doable.
First, try to schedule visits to your domicile state every few months. Always go to your doctor for checkups and/or complaints during these visits. If you have a mild complaint that can wait a short amount of time until your return to your home state, you’ll almost always be better off calling to make an appointment before you arrive “home” and waiting those few weeks until you can see your own doctor.
(Note: You’ll also want to ask for your prescription refills to be scheduled out as far as possible when visiting your doctor.)
If you must seek out care while away from “home,” you will want to find an urgent care center rather than heading to the emergency room, unless it’s a true emergency. We recommend checking to ensure the urgent care center will be covered by your insurance before you go.
Some people even like to head out on each trip with a list of urgent care facilities covered under their insurance plan in the area they will be visiting. This ensures they are prepared if and when medical needs arise.
In a few cases, an urgent care center won’t be able to offer much help, and care by a specialist will be necessary. When this comes up (as long as it isn’t an emergency that requires immediate transfer to a nearby hospital), you will have the option to try to find a local doctor who is covered by your insurance plan or head back to your domicile.
Other RV medical care programs
Let’s say an emergency comes up and you do end up in the local hospital wherever you happen to be. What do you do next? This is where Good Sam TravelAssist comes into play.
This RV medical program offers such benefits as emergency medical transportation, flights home after an emergency, RV return if you are unable to drive, and more. Benefits can even be extended to pets and family members under certain plans.
Learn more about RVer Insurance Exchange
You can start with policy shopping from an online provider like RVerInsurance.com. RVer Insurance Exchange offers free quotes for RV Insurance, Health Insurance, even Extended Warranties.
- How Can Full Time RVers Get Medications?
- 5 Times We Were Grateful for Health Insurance as Full-Time RVers
Chelsea Gonzales is a full-time RVer, freelance writer, and roadschooling mama who loves sharing her expertise about RVing with kids, roadschooling, and full-time RVing. The entrepreneurial and free-spirited author is also artistic director of the Aistear Mobile Irish Dance Academy, and currently travels with her family in a 27-foot travel trailer. Chelsea’s informational articles about full-time RVing, raising children on the road, camping, and destination features appear on her blog, Wonder Wherever We Wander. throughout the RV LIFE network, and in RV industry media outlets such as Outdoorsy, Coach-Net, and RV Share.
John Totten says
I have been using the Good Sam TravelAssist for years and love the confidence that it gives when I am traveling. Fortunately, I have not had to use it but my sister-in-law found it was a blessing for her and her husband who actually passed away while they were traveling. And everything was taken care of including shipping the body back to Utah for a funeral and providing transportation back for her.
Deneen Glass says
This was an extremely helpful article for us as we are preparing to become full-time RVers. Approaching our 60s, Healthcare is not something we can ignore. The resources for RVing life has been much more than we ever thought it would be.
Thank you to all those who make this a family with the adventures that await us.