Health Plans for Fulltime Families (FTF) Members
Most American families still get their health insurance from their place of employment. But what do you do if you want to get rid of those golden handcuffs and hit the road full time?
RVer Insurance Exchange and Fulltime Families (FTF) are working together to bring you the information you need to choose the best available health plan for you and your family as you embark on the wonderful lifestyle of fulltime travel! RVer Insurance Exchange and FTF have had a long-standing relationship since 2011 and now we want to combine our resources and knowledge around this complex topic to help you navigate your options more easily.
Below (scroll passed the form) you will find 4 options for health insurance (plus a non-insurance health sharing ministry option) that we feel are the best plans available anywhere for fulltime USA travel. We summarize each option below and provide a way for you to reach out to us for help with further information or for quoting and enrollment. Please understand that what you see below is not a comprehensive explanation of each option. We are happy to provide that for any of these options.
We at RVer Insurance Exchange are about education first and therefore will never pressure you to purchase anything–ever. We are fulltime RVers ourselves (since 2011) as well as members of Fulltime Families and value our fellow FTF members as well as the broader RV community.
After reviewing this page you are welcome to fill out the form here to request free assistance from us here at RVer Insurance Exchange!
Health Insurance Assistance for Fulltime Families Member
Option 1 – Affordable Care Act Coverage (ACA, aka ‘Obamacare’)
The pros of having an ACA plan are that these plans offer very comprehensive government-regulated health insurance. Additionally, they are the only plans that are subsidy-eligible. So, if you are eligible for a subsidy then you may be able to obtain excellent coverage at a very low monthly rate.
Additionally, this is the only option available that does not penalize for pre-existing health conditions.
The significant disadvantage of an ACA plan is that it is getting increasingly difficult to find one that will cover you outside of the state where you purchase it. Few RVers are able to obtain an ACA plan that covers them nationwide.
Another disadvantage to this option is that without a subsidy the premiums are the highest of all the options on this page.
The other notable disadvantage is that unless you have a Qualifying Life Event you can only enroll in these plans during Open Enrollment, which usually runs October to December.
Who it’s best for
This options is best for lower income families and individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions who generally stick around their ‘home state’. Many Florida residents choose this option.
Option 2 – Fixed Benefit Plans – United Healthcare
These plans are significantly lower priced than ACA plans. Additionally, many of them can be tailored to fit your budget. Plus, most do not have a deductible that needs to be met before you are covered.
Another benefit to this option is that the coverage is nationwide. Generally, you can see any doctor you want to with these plans. However, you will get reduced rates on services if you use the very large nationwide network called the PHCS Network (www.multiplan.com).
Another advantage here is that enrollment is open year-round. So you do not have to wait until Open Enrollment to enroll.
The disadvantage to any fixed benefit plans is indicated in its name–fixed benefit (sometimes called indemnity plans). This means that it pays a predetermined fixed amount for every service you have done regardless of the actual cost.
For example, if you have a hospital stay that bills you $6500 then traditional insurance would pay a percentage of that bill (say 70%) after your annual deductible is met. Assuming your deductible is met, in this scenario $6500 x .70 = $4550; $6500 – $4550 = $1950 left for you to pay.
Fixed benefit plans on the other hand would pay according to the plan’s payment schedule. I have one of these plans and mine pays $5000/day for hospitalization. So in this case, $6500-$5000 would leave me with a $1500 bill. Now, none of this is factoring in network discounts which would further reduce my liability. On the other hand, if this bill was $4000 instead of $6500, then I would have a $2500 payment coming to me because the plan pays its fixed benefit regardless of what the actual bill is.
Another disadvantage of this option is that it will generally not cover pre-existing medical conditions.
Who it’s best for
Healthy families or individuals wanting nationwide low-cost coverage without having to meet a large deductible.
Option 3 – Short Term Medical Insurance
These plans are basically major medical health insurance plans that you can obtain for a period of time between 30 days and 3 years, after which you would have to reapply for coverage depending on your state.
Coverage is very good and generally nationwide. These plans cover you as good as Option 3 but for a limited period of time. Cost varies from state to state but premiums are generally lower than most ACA plans.
You can tailor a plan to fit your needs and budget, with deductibles from $1,000 all the way to $25,000 in some states. These plans are becoming increasingly popular since the current administration lifted the 90 day limit rule on Short Term Medical that was in place for the previous 8 years.
With few exceptions, you have to medically qualify and they generally do not cover pre-existing conditions. Prescription drug coverage is not very good with Short Term Medical plans, though some are better than others.
Who it’s best for
This option is best for those who are healthy and want nationwide coverage and are okay with having to reapply (and re-qualify) for coverage at the end of their term.
Non-Insurance Option – Healthcare Sharing Ministry Plans – OneShare
Perhaps the most controversial option out there, these plans are not insurance but instead are ministry-based plans that agree to share medical expenses among like-minded individuals and families. They have recently seen an uptick in enrollments because the popular ones were exempt from the ACA penalty. But, now that the ACA penalty is gone I expect these plans to return to their pre-ACA popularity.
Cost is usually lower than most other options, although due to their recent popularity this is becoming less so. Most of these plans share with you nationwide.
Sharing is usually catastrophic in nature.
Many of them require medical pre-qualification and do not share pre-existing conditions though some of them do after a waiting period.
Another big disadvantage to these plans is that they have traditionally only been offered to evangelical christians. There are a few that do offer sharing now without requiring adherence to a particular faith, like the one we offer from OneShare and Liberty Healthshare.
Who it’s best for
This is best for those who have eliminated Options 1-4 as viable options yet still want some way to protect their family while on the road. It’s best to be healthy and agree with the Statements of Faith that many of them require.