Friday, February 28, 2014

I Finally Did It

Amid much denial, hand-wringing, and down right procrastination,  I signed up for the Affordable Health Care Plan.  I have been without medical insurance for years.  I have been receiving minimal medical care but generally when an emergency or illness required me to be seen. I however lacked the security of knowing there was insurance in case of a real prolonged need.

All the press, (negative and positive) and hysteria only served to heighten my anxiety.  I have continued to bury my head in the sand till this point and denial prevailed even in the face of time ticking away toward the coming deadline.

UNTIL, I saw a blog a few weeks ago regarding Health Care Insurance for the RV Lifestyle.  So I decided it was time to begin my 'education'.....

I checked out  a web site  from the blog and saw that the state where I live (Washington) is one of the states they had information about.  I found some information that all people who RV will want to consider.

I called and left a message and received a prompt call back within 24 hours. Kyle gave me some basic information and suggested that I read more in depth about insurance issues for those who RV on the RVer Health Insurance web site.   (Click on the banner on the right side to check out the web site for more information.)

Mind you, I'm certainly not an expert in Health Insurance, indeed I'm far, far from it but I now more a bit more than I did before.  So this won't be a post on the finer details about the New Health Insurance Law and how it affects RVers but I have learned a few new facts to pass on.

Your State of Residency will determine options available for your insurance.

Washington State where I currently am a resident has elected to develop their own state health care exchange meeting the new requirements of the ACA.  This will be different from other states and careful investigation regarding health care coverage will need to be added to the lists of things to consider before RVers choose the state of Domicile.   I feel fortunate that Washington State has taken an active lead in developing a comprehensive network of insurance options.  Only time will determine how effective those options are in meeting the needs of RVers.

 PORTABILITY is needed if you travel outside your area.

Portability refers to how usable your insurance will be both in your state of residence and during travels outside of the resident state.  Some companies clearly will not provide any coverage outside of your state or insurance network of providers.  Others may provide for emergency usage only.  Whether you travel part time or full time, consideration of how you can use your insurance outside of your state is important to understand before you purchase the policy. Like any other purchase, it will be up to you to determine what will best fit your needs.   It seems one needs to use your best detective skills to gather all the information needed in this new marketplace.

Affordability varies from levels and plans.  Some choices are available.

Washington State, where I currently am a resident has elected to develop their own state health care exchange meeting to meet the new requirements of the ACA.  There are several levels of insurance coverage you are able to purchase.  Some people will choose a higher deductible with a lower premium... others a lower deductible.      Some subsidies or tax breaks are available for households above the income thresholds to purchase insurance.  

The guidelines for the Medicaid (in Washington) expansion and rules regarding assets have changed thus allowing families or individuals with limited income,  access to insurance without spending all their assets before receiving coverage.  This was one of my big fears and hence some of my reluctance to look at the whole darn thing.  Again, different states are approaching this issue with variable results.

A few days ago I went to a class that reviewed information about the Affordable Healthcare Plan.  I was able to determine that many of the 'facts' I had heard were indeed not true.

At the class, I learned there are trained individuals to help sort out how to enroll in Health Insurance Plans.  I was able to get the name of a Health Care Navigator and make an appointment.  The next day I had an appointment and we filled out the paperwork which was surprisingly simple.  She pressed a send button and.......NOT SO FAST.....I almost had health insurance.

Instead of congratulations you now have insurance message.....We received an
 ERROR message.

The next day she called her magic number and returned a call to me telling me the good news. 
I at long last have insurance.

Step one - THE SIGN UP is completed.
Step Two - will involve checking with the five companies available in my area to determine which will best serve my needs in the coming year. (If I had previous experience with Doctors, I would select Health Care Companies that allowe using those Doctors)
Step Three - is the selection of Primary Care Professionals since at this point I don't have Doctors that I have been using.
There is much that is not known about how it will all shake out....I guess we will learn as this tale unfolds but in the mean time should I break a leg..... I know I will have medical coverage.  In the next two years before I qualify for Medicare (an everything will change again) I will have basic care including some basic dental and vision care.  The details of how medical care may change many times during coming years but I am grateful to finally have some coverage.

Everyone should have access to basic care.

And the Peace of Mind every RVer needs for sure!


  1. An excellent coverage of this important topic. I totally agree that everyone should have access to affordable health care.

  2. Happy to hear you now have coverage. I already did and I'm glad I didn't have to try to figure all this out again. But in Dec' I have to upgrade to cover being out of county which I didn't realize I had. Need to have insurance that lets me go anywhere. Great topic today.

  3. I'm glad you were able to be covered - when I had my own business I bought my own health insurance, otherwise I was always covered my employers. But I remember the few weeks or months between employers when I wasn't covered - until the new policy kicked in - I was always pretty nervous something would happen and wipe out my savings. Congratulations1

  4. Thank you for this very informative post. It won't be long before I'll be looking for a Medicare supplemental plan. I was pleased to see more plans now than there were at the beginning of the year. I think this is all a work in progress & it will take 1-3 years to get the bugs worked out.

  5. I am trying to figure out this health care business and have run into a snag regarding traveling! We currently are signed up in the Atlanta Ga area, but our insurance won't cover us except in emergencies when we leave this area! I was told we have to go outside the 'market place' which then we don't get the subsidy...aarg! I am confused! I see you have added a link to insurance for Rvers, I will check it out, but my head is about to explode so i will have to calm down first! Thanks for your insights!