Health Insurance Tips to Stay Covered in Difficult Times
When a carton of eggs cost 48% more today than they did a year ago, what can you do to reduce your cost of living? What should you shed, and what should you keep? What can you do when dropping your Netflix subscription and hanging on to your current phone for one more year isn’t enough? Here are a few health insurance tips, specifically for RVers.
Can RVers Afford to Reduce Their Health Insurance Footprint?
With regards to insuring your health you have three options:
- Keep yourself and your family fully insured
- Cancel your benefits
- Reduce your benefits
RV’ers are more at risk than non-RVers for injury. I write this from twelve years of full time RVing experience. I believe we concern ourselves about our surroundings focusing on safety more than than someone who lives in a house without wheels. We also find ourselves in unfamiliar surroundings often. If we lose our mobility, or the ability to drive, we have a big problem. For example I have always taken very good care of my eyes. I am the driver of our motorhome. This last year my vision in my left eye suddenly became blurry. I didn’t think twice about getting to the ophthalmologist within 24 hours. Knowing I was insured for the visit helped me to not procrastinate.
Having helped RVers with their health insurance since 2008, I saw our customer’s stress levels rise when mandated benefits became law and those health benefits went from PPO to HMO’s across the country, within 3 years of the law being in place (HMOs do not travel well!). A sigh of relief could be heard across the country when RVers learned the mandate to insure your health repealed effective January 2019. This gave us the ability to share non-ACA (Affordable Care Act) plans that do travel well for RVers.
Understanding Your Health Insurance Options
Let’s discuss the three options listed above. Choosing can be difficult, and your health status should be a major factor in your decision. If you are under a doctors care regularly, being uninsured would not be a sound choice. Here are 3 health insurance tips to consider.
1. To keep yourself fully insured you may simply be able to change how your benefits are structured (go back to the agent that originally helped you). Working with an agent you have a relationship with makes the review and change process easy because they know your history. Seeking the services of an agent cost you nothing. Agents are paid by insurance companies to provide you personalized customer service during the decision making process and AFTER your policy is in place. If you don’t have an agent now we can help you. If we helped you before and you don’t remember who your agent is, call us we can look that name up for you. Start by shopping for less expensive plans, and consider a domicile change if you are full-time. Which state you reside in can make a difference for both under age 65 and those on Medicare.
2. Cancelling your benefits will increase your stress level and may curb your activity level. If you are going without health insurance, you lose the network discounts that come with an insurance policy, so make sure you ask the cash pay price for services prior to a doctor visit. Use Telemedicine services whenever possible. If you end up in the ER always tell them your are cash pay when you arrive!
3. Reducing your benefits means increasing your financial responsibility. Reducing benefits still gives you protections the uninsured does not have. You still have the same network discounts and have access to a network of doctors. If you are on an underwritten policy, reducing benefits does not require underwriting. After twenty six years in the business we know that nothing in the health insurance industry ever stays the same from year to year. If later you decide you want to go back to your original benefit level, go back to the agent that assisted you in reducing your benefits for a stress free transition. When increasing benefits, if you are on an underwritten policy you will be underwritten again.
Thinking about this process may feel overwhelming but we understand the importance of financial peace of mind health insurance provides and we are here to help you. Before you blindly sign-up for Medicare Open Enrollment, contact us first! If you are an RVer, there is more you need to know, and the RVer Insurance Exchange can help untangle the confusion.