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Health Insurance and medical concerns

Posted by Agnes on March 24, 1999 at 09:13:06:
         This is posted as a follow up to a previous message I posted regarding
         obtaining medical insurance. Cobra coverage from Rich's employer will cost
         about $450/month so we are looking for a less expensive alternative. FYI,
         neither of us has any medical conditions affecting our coverage. Here's what
         I've discovered to date: I have been checking with BC/BS mainly and they
         have indicated that I have to call BC/BS offices in the state in which I live. FYI,
         the Escapee's - John Hancock I think - insurer wants over $700/month. With
         BC/BS, in PA where we now live, an individual policy will cost about
         $900/month! They will cover us only if we reside in PA (have a PA address),
         by the way. We're considering SD and Texas as our legal residence so I had to
         call BC/BS in each of those states--each one telling me that we must be
         "residents" of the state to obtain insurance from them. (I'm assuming that using a
         mail forwarding address will qualify.) In SD a policy for about $300 a month
         with a deducible of $2,500 each will provide us with major medical coverage
         only. All doctors visits, lab work, annual exams, etc., would fall into our
         deductible category. In Texas a PPO coverage with a $2,500 deductible would
         cost us about $235/month. If we used doctors in the PPO, we would only pay
         the co-pay amount for each visit, annual exams, etc. The deductible would end
         up applying mostly if we were hospitalized. At the moment, for this and other
         reasons, we are leaning towards Texas. Can you imagine having to spend $700
         - $900 a month for medical insurance? Who do they think can afford that?
         Well, I hope that my research will help others who are out there searching for
         coverage. 
 

Posted by Patrick on March 31, 1999 at 20:16:25:
        In Reply to: Medical Insurance posted by Agnes on March 24, 1999
         Have you considered the "temp" policies. They are for short term-like
         6-months. a basically healthy person camn get automatic coverage by
         answering several medical questions. Pre-existing conditions are NOT covered.
         However, new illineeses are. For the very reasons you cited(unaffordable) I
         just placed my wife with one of these animals for $154.00/month. It has a
         $1,000.00 deductable. It is good for hospital coverage only, but this is better
         than nothing, in case of a serious illiness on the road. They pay any hospital or
         doctor, anywhere in USA They will re-new at the end of the 6-months, but any
         claims then become "pre-existing conditions" and would be exempt. Everyone
         needs to get to 65 and Medicare before they consider getting sick. There has
         to be a better way! Like buying into Medicare at age 60-or maybe 55. Any
         takers? 
 

Posted by Dan Roberts on March 20, 1999 at 19:52:05:
         Ron and Barb, we've thoroughly enjoyed your book, and web site. Lots of
         useful information presented in a delightful style. Parts of the book we've read
         multiple times. We plan to begin full timing in June, and we're interested in doing
         a newsletter and/or book about how to take care of yourself medically on the
         road (I'm a family Doc and my wife an RN). Is there any interest out there in
         that kind of information? Dan R. 
 

Posted by Linda on March 21, 1999 at 08:23:33:
        In Reply to: "Movin On" and Medical Concerns posted by Dan Roberts on March 20, 1999
         From what I have read on this web site and other RV related web sites, your
         newsletter would be great! Medical insurance availabilty is also a great concern
         for RVers less than 65. Maybe you could make your own web site with a
         medical/health focus?? Linda  

Posted by Bev on March 26, 1999 at 21:05:40:
        In Reply to: Re: Movin On" and Medical Concerns posted by Linda on March 21, 1999
         Hi, Serious concern for me, too. Can't imagine having to pay for the tests and
         care I've required having had colon cancer surgery 11 years ago. Yes, it's
         gone, but oh the problems that remain. I'm extremely concerned about what
         will become of me if these expensive treatments aren't covered, or more
         surgery is required in the future. And no, we would not be able to afford the
         expensive insurance. Will be ok for the next 18 mos, but after that, don't know.
         Maybe have to work to pay the insurance?? I don't want to, having worked
         since age 16 till last summer, but maybe that will be the only way. What about
         moving to Canada or something? 
 

Posted by Katy Smith on March 26, 1999 at 20:23:01:
        In Reply to: Re: Movin On" and Medical Concerns posted by Linda on March 21, 1999
         I also think it would be great, especially with information on affordable
         insurance for those under 65. Insurance is the only thing keeping me from
         retiring at this point. At 52, with a history of breast cancer (2 1/2 yrs ago with a
         great prognosis), I'm having to wait and hope for an early retirement offer that
         will pay my insurance. Right now it would cost over $400/month to keep it
         through a COBRA plan. My husband retired last year at 62 and we're just
         waiting for me to start our full-timing. Hopefully in 2000! 
 

Posted by Gary on April 14, 1999 at 16:27:20:
         We are all concerned about health insurance costs while fulltiming. There are
         various health insurance cooperative programs for Christians through various
         coops. They have very low overhead and are not concerned with making a
         profit like traditional insurance companies. These have high deductibles and
         only cover major medical problems but the contributions are much lower
         ($100-200 per month). The one I am aware of is the Good Samaritan Program
         but I know there are others. 
 

Posted by Nancy Roller on April 18, 1999 at 23:07:31:
        In Reply to: Health Insurance Concerns posted by Gary on April 14, 1999
          Gary, could you give some additional information about the Good Samaritan
          insurance program you are referring to? Do they have a web page? Thanks
          Nancy Roller
 

 Posted by Cheryl Kreger on April 19, 1999 at 20:46:24:
         I have a couple of questions that have been haunting me. How does one handle
         prescription medicines when full-timing? All of our records will reside with our
         present physicians. Can these doctors prescribe for out-of-state patients? I
         donít think so but I donít know. I know I can use the internet, but Iím not sure
         thatís safe. The other question is that we will be traveling with two dogs and
         what do we do about licensing or is it even necessary? What about taking dogs
         into Canada? What do the rest of you do? Thank you, Cheryl 
 

Posted by Rio Beckwith on April 20, 1999 at 06:28:05:
        In Reply to: Full-timing Questions posted by Cheryl Kreger on April 19, 1999
         Cheryl, Ironically enough I went to my pharmacist just today to get my
         prescriptions updated and get my final "fixes" in prep to launch my full-timing
         this Friday. He said that if I have refills on file with him I can have any
         pharmacy in the US phone him and he will verify and OK the prescription to be
         filled at the remote location. Since my mail drop is just a few doors down I
         could also have it mailed to me but the phone trick seems the simplest
        
 

Posted by Karin on May 09, 1999 at 11:37:35:
        In Reply to: Re: Full-timing Questions posted by Rio Beckwith on April 20, 1999
         Re: Filling Prescriptions. I've been working on this challenge in preparation for
         our year-long trip around the country. The best "deal" on my medical plan is to
         receive drugs by mail order through Walgreens. However, they cannot mail to a
         post office or General Delivery box. Further, at this time, Walgreens mail order
         has no working affiliation with Walgreens, the drug store. So in this age of
         computer-everything, the drug store can't access the mail order records. This
         probably means then that I'll have to get the doctor to write me several
         prescriptions that I can filled anywhere for full price, and then be reimbursed
         (maybe) when I get home. I'm lucky to have an "in" with the medical insurance
         company (being the benefits administrator at work) but even so it appears to be
         an out-of-pocket extra expense while traveling. 
 

 Posted by Dick Ackerman on February 15, 1999 at 00:35:10:
         Like others, we are planning on going fulltime, but having a hard time finding
         answers on some things. 1.)Health Ins---Where and how much $?.
          2.) Anyone have any experience with the VA while traveling? Things such as
         keeping up with your meds without constantly going back to the same hosp,
         getting appintments while on the road, etc.  3.) Selecting RV's based on quality---
         i.e. which are the Fords and which are the Lincolns and classes in beteen. I'd
         rather buy quality used than junk new. Thanks. 
 

Posted by Ed Richmond on February 28, 1999 at 10:35:29:
        In Reply to: ins, VA,rating RVs posted by Dick Ackerman on February 15, 1999
          I highly recommand that you go to www.rv.org and join the RV Consumers
          Group. It is the only place where RV's are honestly and objectively rated for
          quality and safety.

Posted by Agnes on March 01, 1999 at 11:03:07:
        In Reply to: Re: ins, VA,rating RVs posted by Ed Richmond on February 28, 1999
         I agree with Ed's advice about the RV Consumer Group. It teaches you how to
         rate an RV yourself by telling you things to look for in an RV and also teaches
         the importance of watching the weight of the RV itself and how much additional
         weight you can add. Certainly worth the investment to us.