Full Time RV Health Insurance Options

Figuring out what options are available for full time RV health insurance can be intimidating. We both quit our jobs in 2017 to travel in our RV full time and focus solely on our real estate investing business. Quitting our job also meant we quit our super cheap and awesome employer health insurance plan. That meant we had to figure out how to get affordable full time RV health insurance that would cover us no matter where we were on the RV. Luckily, we found a great insurance agent who specializes in full time RV health insurance. With her help, we created this guide discussing the full time RV health insurance options to help you better understand what is available and give you a general idea of what it may cost to have health insurance on the road or if your self employed. 

*Remember that insurance premiums range dramatically based on what plan you have, you domicile state, your age, pre-existing conditions, and general health. Nothing in this guide should be used as a formal quote. We suggest working with our insurance agent to find out which of these plans is best for you and what the actual cost will be. She will do a one-on-one consultation with you to determine what plan will give you the best coverage at the best price.

Portia LaVigne
407-687-1550
agentportiarv@gmail.com
Book phone consult: http://bit.ly/1st-PhoneConsult
*SUPPORT OUR CHANNEL BY MENTIONING YOU FOUND HER THROUGH LIZ & DENNIS OF EAT SEE RV*

You can contact Portia any time of the year to get a quote for insurance options. Don’t wait until open enrollment to find out if you can upgrade or switch to a better nationwide coverage plan.

Tip #1: Get Nationwide ppo Coverage

The most important factor when choosing a health insurance plan as a traveling RV’er, is making sure it’s a Nationwide PPO plan. Nationwide PPO coverage means you can see a doctor, go to the ER, or be admitted to the hospital no matter where you are in the US. The chances of you being near your hometown when something goes awry are slim, so having this nationwide coverage is essential. Most nationwide PPO plans offer “in network” coverage, which means the cover or will pay medical bills only to the providers within their approved network. While this is a good option, there is a better nationwide PPO plan that offers both in and out of network coverage

PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. Being a part of a PPO plan means you get special pricing or discounts to health care providers that are approved in their network. Let’s say you need to go to a doctor in a larger metropolitan city like Salt Lake City, UT. If you only have in network coverage you could only see a doctor within the approved PPO network. Now let’s say you need to visit a doctor or you have a medical emergency away from a metropolitan city where there are no “in-network” approved providers. If you have an in and out of network PPO plan you could go to any provider even if they are out of network and be covered! My insurance agent, Portia, told me a story about one of her clients that ended up going into the E.R. because she was having stomach pains. The E.R. was technically in coverage, but once she was admitted to the hospital to remove her appendix, it was considered out of network. So the E.R. visit was covered, but her insurance provider, Blue Cross, denied the claim for the hospital stay and her client was stuck with a big bill! Hopefully you get the point by now. Nationwide PPO is great, but a nationwide in and out of network PPO plan is even better!

Tip #2: Your Domicile State Matters

Many full-time RV’ers take the leap into this lifestyle leaving everything behind, including their old house. If you are selling your permanent residence, chances are you have the freedom to choose a new domicile. Most end up choosing a domicile in South Dakota, Florida, or Texas because of their low taxes, but there are other considerations that should go into choosing your domicile. Every state has different health care plans available to them. Some states have better plan options and rates than others. So if you have a choice of where you call “home” why not make a choice that best supports you in terms of taxes and health care? Our of the three states listed above, Florida is the only state that has a health care plan that provides nationwide PPO in and out of network coverage through ACA. Even if you’re not in one of those three states, there are other options for nationwide PPO coverage, just not through the ACA. We’ll cover what makes the Nationwide PPO plan through the ACA a better option for some compared to other plans.

Tip #3: COSTs and coverage will vary

Please keep in mind that the plans we are covering today will vary dramatically based on individual factors such as age, illness, lifestyle choices, home state/domicile, or pre-existing conditions. You will 100% need to talk to a professional about what options are available to you based on these factors. That’s why it’s so important to talk to a professional who understands RV’ers needs for a quality nationwide plan. Give Portia a call 407-687-1550 if you want to see what plans are available to you or if you are looking for health insurance.

Tip #4: You don’t need insurance, but it is a good idea to have

I would be lying if I said we didn’t discuss if we really needed health insurance or not when we first hit the road. After all, we’re young, healthy, and live an active healthy lifestyle. It can be hard to justify a monthly payment that is sometimes as much as a mortgage “just in case” you need it. At any moment we could get in a serious car accident, need a surgery, have an unexpected accident, or be diagnosed with an illness. Any of those events could create tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses that without insurance is on your shoulders.

While we do live a healthy lifestyle and take as many preventive measures as possible, we can’t control everything. We can, however, insure ourselves and be as prepared and protected as possible. For that reason, we chose a minimum medical coverage up to 1 million dollars. While it seems high, talk to anyone who has had a major hospital trip, surgery, or illness and you’ll realize 1 million can be reached quite quickly in the medical world.

You don’t have to wait for the open enrollment period to see what plans are available to you or if you would qualify for a more affordable and better covered plan. You can call Portia at any time to get covered!

Tip #5: Your insurance won’t be as good as an employee plan

Dennis recently got an ulcer. We were concerned enough about his pain to want to go to the ER or urgent care. I called our insurance provider to find out what our deductible would be and was rudely awakened when I found out they would only pay $100 – $250 depending on where we went and the remainder would be our responsibility. We had the option to upgrade to Premier Med which is a $4,000 deductible then everything else would be paid for after that, but we were shocked. I honestly just assumed I could go to the doctor, urgent care, or ER only paying a set co-pay like my old employee insurance plan. I tried comparing plans to other full time RV health insurance options, like the ACA and realized I definitely had the best plan out there with the lowest co-pay —  self employed insurance plans just aren’t as a good as a company or employee plan will be. Make sure you understand exactly what is covered or not covered and how the plan works. Don’t assume with insurance!

Plan option 1:  ACA (affordable care act)

The ACA is an acronym for the Affordable Care Act or “Obama Care” as it’s commonly called. One of the biggest benefits of the ACA is that they will cover major pre-existing conditions. They ask no health questions. The downside on the other hand is that the ACA plans are based on income. If you make too much money the plans aren’t that affordable. However, if you fall into the right income bracket you can qualify for a subsidy. This lowers the monthly premiums dramatically and can potentially make your insurance plan a great deal!

No matter what, ACA plans often have high deductibles. As much as $7,000 or more. That means you have to pay up to your deductible each year before they will cover any of your medical expenses. To give you an idea, for a female around age 60 – 62, your monthly premium would be around $1,100+ a month. For a couple in their mid 60’s expect to pay around $2,200+.

If you have a serious medical condition such as diabetes, history of cancer, heart attack, or other chronic illness, ACA coverage is likely your best bet as you are guaranteed coverage. You can only apply for ACA coverage during the “open enrollment period” which is Nov 1 – Dec 15 of each year. Once you apply you are note required to get coverage through but it will show you the available options and what their monthly premiums and deductibles would be. If you do elect to have this coverage, it would start Jan 1st of the following year and expire next Jan. 1st. You would then have to re-apply during the open enrollment period again. *Important note: You can apply for ACA outside of open enrollment if you have a major life changing event such as moving, getting married, or having a baby.

www.healthsherpa.com is a good resource for ACA coverage. It’s easier to navigate than healthcare.gov which is the official website for the Affordable Care Act.

 

Summary of the  ACA Nationwide PPO Plan

  • Nationwide PPO Coverage for both in and out of network visits.
  • Covers anyone, even if you have pre-existing conditions or chronic/serious illness.
  • Is income based. If you make too much money, it’s not affordable. However, if you qualify for a subsidy it can be very affordable!
  • Monthly Premium Range: $250 – $1,500 per person
  • Annual Deductibles: High $7,000+

plan Option 2: Health Sharing

Health Sharing plans do offer nationwide coverage but it’s important to note they are not insurance! Most are faith based and have criteria you must meet or agree when you apply. Essentially, you have to agree that you believe in what they believe in. There is a Liberty health plan which has less religious requirements in order to join. Health Sharing works by having a monthly contribution i.e. a monthly premium that is paid each month by its members. This money goes into a communal fund, and when someone has a medical bill that needs to be paid it is submitted to the board for approval. The fund then approves or denies the claim. If approved, the bill is paid from the communal funds. Since this is not insurance, the board can deny a claim and there really is no way to dispute it. They have low limits on how much they’ll pay out maybe $100,000 – $200,000. The most they will pay is $1 million. So, while the monthly premium seems very low for a quality plan that would cover up to a million dollars in medical insurance, it could be up to $1,200 a month per person.

 

Summary of health sharing plans

  • Nationwide Coverage
  • This is NOT insurance – they may cover your medical bill or it could be denied. There is no legal recourse if you are denied a claim because it’s not insurance.
  • Typically faith based, so most plans are available if you believe or agree to believe in the same faith as them.
  • Monthly Premium Range: $250 – $1,200 per person
  • Annual Deductibles: Mid Range $5,000+

Plan option 3: Premier Choice of us health

Premier Choice with US Health is one of the best health insurance options out there for full time RV’ers. This is actually what Dennis has. I’ll go over why I believe it’s one, if not the best plans in a minute but it’s important to start by telling you this plan is not for everyone. You have to be healthy in order to qualify for this insurance plan. The reasons they can offer such great coverage at this rate is because they have strict requirements and often deny anyone with a chronic illness or pre-existing conditions. Liz actually couldn’t qualify for this plan at first because of a pre-existing condition. They allow any age up to 64 to apply, although their underwriting process is stricter from age 60 – 64. If you can qualify for this it’s definitely an awesome plan. Let’s go over some of the major benefits of Premier Choice.

This is a nationwide PPO plan with and out of network coverage. You have access to Teledoc which is a virtual doctors visit. You can meet with a physician on the internet from the comfort of your RV (and where ever your RV may be parked) and get a diagnosis. They can even write prescriptions through Teledoc. How awesome is that?

You also have accident protection. If you break an ankle or need medical attention because of an accident, you only have to pay $500 out of pocket as a deductible. Bonus, your spouse is covered with accidental protection even if they don’t have Premier Choice as their insurance provider! 

Let’s say you do get into a major accident or develop a serious illness that requires an extended hospital stay or treatment. As a premier choice client, you have the option to upgrade to Premier Med which would limit your deductible to a maximum of $4,000 and provide you with UNLIMITED coverage! Additionally, you have hospital indemnity which means after 1 day in the hospital, US Health will pay you $800 a day until you are released. You can use that $800 to potentially pay for your deductible or just use as a living stipend. Either way, you can potentially get up to a million dollars in medical coverage for a crazy low premium. Dennis only pays $226 a month for this plan and the highest the rates will go are around $800 +/- . Can you see why this is an AMAZING health care plan for RV’ers?

Summary of premier choice

  • Nationwide PPO Coverage in and out of network
  • Need to be healthy and they don’t take anyone above the age of 64
  • Great coverage overall with features such as:
    • Teledoc (virtual doctor visits)
    • Accidental insurance (only $500 deductible if there is an accident)
    • Hospital indemnity (they pay $800 after 1 day in the hospital)
  • Monthly Premium Range: $226 – $800 per person
  • Annual Deductibles: Low $3,000
  • UNLIMITED COVERAGE!

plan Option 4: Fixed Indemnity with Us health

This is another US Health plan that offers nationwide PPO coverage both in and out of network. This is a good option if you weren’t able to qualify for Premier Choice because they will cover you even if you have a pre-existing condition, they just won’t pay any expenses relating to that condition in the 1st year. You can potentially have your condition covered after a period of time. You can get up to a million dollars in coverage, which is what my agent Portia recommends. The premiums are still rather low and the deductibles are in the mid tier range. You don’t get any of the great bonuses like you would with Premier choice, but you would have good coverage in the event of a medical emergency. 

Summary of fixed indemnity

  • Nationwide PPO Coverage in and out of network
  • A good option for people who can’t qualify plans like Premier Choice
  • Won’t cover pre-existing conditions for the 1st year. Can be covered later in plan.
  • Can have up to a million dollars in coverage  which is the suggested coverage rate
  • Monthly Premium range: $239 – $600 per person
  • Annual Deductibles: Mid Tier $5,000 +

Plan option 5: Short term medical

The short term medical is exactly what is sounds like, a short term option. It still has nationwide coverage but it for a short period of time. Either 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months. Once that term is over, the policy automatically cancels and you have to find health care coverage again. This plan does not cover any pre-existing conditions so it’s really just insuring you in the event of a medical emergency. It’s also important to note they underwrite on the backend which means they don’t ask a ton of questions upfront, but at the time of claim they dive deep into your medical history. If it’s relating to a prior existing condition they won’t cover and your claim could be denied even after treatment. Deductibles are mid tier and premiums are low even though you can get coverage up to $1 million dollars.

Summary of short term medical

  • Nationwide PPO Coverage
  • Term of plan varies (3 – 12 months)
  • Must re-apply after your term expires and you could be denied when you re-apply
  • Good if you can get coverage in the future but do not qualify now.
  • Can have up to a million dollars in coverage
  • Monthly Premium range: $250 – $400 per person
  • Annual Deductibles: Mid Tier $5,000 +

Hopefully the take away from this post is that there are affordable full time RV health insurance options. While one plan may not work for you, chances are another will. If you’re serious about getting health insurance or want to review your options to see if there is a better plan for you, call our agent Portia. When you mention that you found her through our channel, we get a small affiliate fee at no additional cost to you. This helps us stay on the road and provide more quality content to you. Heres to happy and healthy traveling!

Portia LaVigne
407-687-1550
agentportiarv@gmail.com
Book phone consult: http://bit.ly/1st-PhoneConsult
*SUPPORT OUR CHANNEL BY MENTIONING YOU FOUND HER THROUGH LIZ & DENNIS OF EAT SEE RV*

 

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Liz & Dennis

Liz & Dennis

ESRV Team

We’re two travel-loving, real estate investing, foodies exploring North America as full-time RV’ers. This blog is where we share our lessons learned, tips and tricks, and favorite places to eat, see, and RV across North America! We hope it helps you find your wanderlust, plan and prepare for RV life, and get out on the road!

 

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