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Old 01-31-2008, 09:26 AM   #1
rec
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trying to figure out the health insurance maze

We are working our way toward hitting the road full-time later this year, and I'm researching health insurance options. We are leaning toward SD as our state in which to declare domicile, because I've read over and over again how generous they are with full-timers. But the roadblock I seem to be running into is the health insurance issue.

I went to ehealthinsurance.com to try and get a quote -- turns out only 2 companies provide health insurance in SD (and their quote generator wasn't particularly useful to me). So I contacted an independent agent in SD and he told me the following:

"Wellmark that they would not take you in your RV situation. The only other option would be with Assurant. However they want you to have a physical address for 6 months. This would be an address other than your RV mailing address."

When I questioned their unwillingness to cover full-timers, he replied:

"Wellmark used to do this until they found that most of the medical care was being taken care of in other states. Their rates are structured for the medical services in the state that the insured resides in. Medical care was being administered in other states where services were higher than in South Dakota making their rate structure inadequate for the exposure. There was no way to set a rate as they had no idea of where the medical treatement would be given.
They caught on to the full-timing all having one of 2 addresses in Sioux Falls; the one on Westport and My favorite address.
Re: Asurant ( which used to be Time Insurance) will still write policies and how they get arround it is that you would have to have an address in Sioux Falls for 6 months. This would mean renting an appartment and setting this up as your res. Then you could apply for their rates. The draw back to this is that Asurant has so many different networks and if you are in the wrong network at the time you need emergency care they balance bill for what is not covered. Which would mean that you would be responsible for whaterer the insurance policy would not cover for services rendered. This is not a good option either."

How the heck are we supposed to get coverage then? Does anyone who is domiciling in SD have any advice? Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:31 AM   #2
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The health insurance mafia in the US is way out of control. They discriminate especially against individual policies since they are the easiest to intimidate. There's no solution as long as the government allows them free reign. Best suggestion is try to maintain your current coverage (if you have any) or try to find some group plan to tide you over until Medicare kicks in, assuming it will still have funds! In any case, health insurance is our most pressing problem right now, even more than the mortgage problems, but our great and wonderous leaders refuse to deal with it. Darol
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:48 PM   #3
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Would Good Sam or WBCCI have a group plan you could tie into? In Canada we are all covered, sort of. If I head out of Province, in particular to the US, and have an issue with a pre-existing health issue I'm being treated for in Province, then they won't cover the costs. It means for someone like myself I'm trapped in BC and Canada (big country with lots to see but we love the OR coast).

I'm also aware of our AAA equivalent offering group plans to members, including dental as well as the health and life side. Perhaps your AAA has a similar plan?

Let us know how this works out.

Barry
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rec
We are working our way toward hitting the road full-time later this year, and I'm researching health insurance options....How the heck are we supposed to get coverage then?...
hi rec

i agree completely with darol.

and will skip over the political side to the specifics.

folks who pay for h.i. become part of a risk pool...

these risk pools can be defined in many ways...

by age, health status, occupation or domicile, gender and so on...

the only truly national risk pools at this time are medicare and the v.a.

some corporate/professional plans get close to a national coverage plan for retirees, but this is drying up fast.

so the key to 'getting coverage' is KEEPING YOUR CURRENT COVERAGE...

i've explained this somewhat over here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f314...ons-28627.html

and added a few more details that are maryland specific here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...nce-37665.html

IF you give up your current coverage or don't have coverage, the issues multiply.

since current illnesses or health risks can limit new coverage or even exclude one from coverage.

my suggestion is IF you like your current coverage, the provider network and might want MAJOR issues handled IN your cuurent facilites...

look for individual policy options within that area or insurance company...

to reduce the impact of premium shock, look at the HIGH DEDUCTIBLE options...

imo NONE of the policies offered by good sam, self employed business networks, and so on are useful insurance.

aarp is getting close to a better policy but not yet.

so UNTIL u are eligible for medicare try to hang on to a 'bc/bs' type policy or one provided IN your current home state.

declaring new residency in texas or s.d. or montana is NOT entirely risk free or inexpensive...

cheers
2air'

and 'shakers situation is different than yours but she's also looked at this issue...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f314...tml#post382067
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:14 PM   #5
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Rec

You may want to post this question over on the Escapees forum as they have many more full timers posting there. The link is below.

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Old 01-31-2008, 10:43 PM   #6
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Blue Cross BLue Shield. Accepted almost everywhere. This is what I have. I am a resident of Montana.
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:28 PM   #7
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I have an HSA, and a annual 5 k deductable. The catastrophic coverage is 100% with a 3.0m max. No fighting with doctors and go where we want. Family of 4 is around 600/month. Money not used is in savings account that can be utilized for any medical procedure.

We put around 3 k/year in the fund every year and we have been lucky, usually about 2k/year used.Great for travelers and those who hate the battle.
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:52 PM   #8
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When I read all the costs you folks incur I realize that as much of a pain in the butt as our system can be, it works. I have really put the system through it's paces over the years, first with cancer (1990's), more recently (since 2006) with stroke/heart attack, and the costs to me have been total under a grand. We pay $88/mo for a family of two.

We have some wait time issues on occasion but for all but a few it's not been that big an issue. Certainly there are some issues with wait times and lack of the doctors with the right specialties (they get lured to the USA for much higher income potential) but overall our system works.

Let's just not start talking about how much of our wages we give up in taxes though .

Barry
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:01 PM   #9
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I have several cousins in Canada (BC) and they say the same thing as Barry. But before I hijack this thread I should say that my daughter's inlaws retired, sold everything and full-timed for 5 years. They 'called' Florida their home state (Good Sam members) even though they did not place one tire in the state for 3 years. Part way into their fulltiming he got prostate cancer. I know they carried Blue Cross but do not know if from the begining. Anyway he had the successful surgery and continued with their travels. He was able to get followup Dr. visits on the road. 5 years ago they gave up the fulltiming and settled in Carmel. He is cancer free. They still carry Blue Cross but while he golfs she works to pay the high premiums.
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:54 PM   #10
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Best Medical Plan

I don’t think it will highjack the thread if I say to my American friends on the Forum that your country badly needs UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.

Just now, in the lead up to your next presidential election, we hear countless proclamations that the USA is the LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD.

One place that America does not lead, but sadly lags far behind, is Medical Care for her Citizens. Forty seven million citizens with no medical insurance. Countless millions more struggling to pay premiums or wiped out when their coverage expires.

ALONE among the Western Industrialised Nations, America does not provide her citizens with Universal Medical Care.

Whenever I drive through rural America I encounter mason jars and sad hand written signs on store counters saying something like “Betty Lou needs a new kidney. Please help.”

It’s so pathetic. You know that those lonely handfuls of coins will never cover the cost of a kidney.

You will NEVER see a sign like that in Canada. You will NEVER find a Canadian, no matter their political persuasion, that will agree to give up the Single Payer Universal Health Care we’ve had for over 45 years in this country.

It is time for ALL AMERICANS to come together to build what you most need – and cannot afford anymore to be without – UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.

Sergei
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe
I don’t think it will highjack the thread if I say to my American friends on the Forum that your country badly needs UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.

Just now, in the lead up to your next presidential election, we hear countless proclamations that the USA is the LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD.

One place that America does not lead, but sadly lags far behind, is Medical Care for her Citizens. Forty seven million citizens with no medical insurance. Countless millions more struggling to pay premiums or wiped out when their coverage expires.

ALONE among the Western Industrialised Nations, America does not provide her citizens with Universal Medical Care.

Whenever I drive through rural America I encounter mason jars and sad hand written signs on store counters saying something like “Betty Lou needs a new kidney. Please help.”

It’s so pathetic. You know that those lonely handfuls of coins will never cover the cost of a kidney.

You will NEVER see a sign like that in Canada. You will NEVER find a Canadian, no matter their political persuasion, that will agree to give up the Single Payer Universal Health Care we’ve had for over 45 years in this country.

It is time for ALL AMERICANS to come together to build what you most need – and cannot afford anymore to be without – UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.

Sergei
Very good point, Sergei. I myself cannot complain as I have a good and relatively inexpensive health plan. Most of my life I have been a Conservative. When I retired in '06 I gave my Liberal son-in-law a good laugh when I admitted that as a job holder with good health coverage I was appalled at entitlement programs. Once retired I am looking for the hand-outs My parents were English so most of my cousins are in countries that were part of the British Commonwealth. The few times that health coverage enters our 'conversations' they have mixed opinions about their Universal Health Care. Perhaps I am just not wanting a government controlling my life......until I can't control it.
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:18 PM   #12
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Sitting in Banning CA getting ready to move east, by the way a nice KOA here. My business keeps me here for oct- march and global the rest of the time. I spend considerable time in Canada and Asia. My opinion as a independent business owner, we should be ashamed of ourselves. It is the have and have nots, and no one wins. Our system favors only only the big insurance companies who have the signifiant lobby influence. Our country is step by step taking the middle class down to a 3 rd world country. The thing is my company has workers making products with better health care than me. They take the kids in for runny noses. You never hear these stories about areas in Thailand etc. I am sure you have citizens in Canada living under bridges in Toronto, or tunnels in British columbia with health care only retired government workers have in this country.

O -well we are in our A/S and have another 3 weeks on the road. Taking the southern route.
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:21 PM   #13
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Rec

You may want to post this question over on the Escapees forum as they have many more full timers posting there. The link is below.

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Good point, and in fact there are whole sections on that board devoted to specific insurance companies, with executives of those companies personally answering some of these same or similar questions.

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Old 02-06-2008, 05:08 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe
I don’t think it will highjack the thread if I say to my American friends on the Forum that your country badly needs UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE...It is time for ALL AMERICANS to come together to build what you most need – and cannot afford anymore to be without – UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.
Sergei,

I can appreciate your compassion, but keep in mind the sobering fact the the Government can only give what it takes away from others. The tax burden of a single payer healthcare system with the level of care we now enjoy would be devistating to the American taxpayer. We have a situation already where the top 50% of wage earners pay virtually ALL of the taxes. My wife and I pay for the health insurance for our family ...we can't afford to pay for someone else's family too. I can't afford 10 kids... that's why my wife and I stopped at 5.
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