How to Get Health Insurance on the Road: Obamacare.

Lisa Jarvis [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the questions I’m asked often is, “How do I get health insurance and health care as a nomad?” but there is no one, simple answer, it’s different for everyone. Many RVers are over 65 so they are on Medicare or served in the military so they get health care from the VA. But many of us don’t have either of those and must buy it for ourselves. Sadly, because many vandwellers are  living on very tight budgets they can’t afford it, therefore, they do without it. For 6 years I lived in my van and kept working at my union job where I had health insurance. But after I retired I found that insurance was too expensive and for the next 6 years I lived as a nomad with no health care. That all changed with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called Obamacare–now I have Obamacare.

In this post I want to try to demystify it and explain as best I can what it is and how it works for nomads. But first let me say I know nothing about the VA, Medicare or Medicaid so I’m not giving you any advice about them–only Obamacare and Expanded Medicaid. Even it’a a big and complicated subject and I’m not in any way an expert on it; the best I can tell you is how it works for me. You really should take this as a very simple primer and do your own research on your own specific circumstances. I recommend starting with this page where it gives good details about the ACA in fairly plain English and with minimal bias: http://obamacarefacts.com/

Get Insurance or Pay a Penalty.

One notable part of the ACA is that there are tax penalties if you chose to not have insurance (there are exceptions that will allow you to avoid the penalties, see this page: https://www.healthcare.gov/health-coverage-exemptions/exemptions-from-the-fee/). At first the penalty was low enough that I just paid the penalty and didn’t get health care.  But by the second year it was high enough that I decided that I should look into it so I went to it’s website and signed up. Find the Obamacare website here: https://www.healthcare.gov/

In it’s first year the site got a lot of bad press but as far as I’m concerned they have fixed all of it’s problems. I had no problem negotiating it and understanding what it wanted–and I’m no tech expert!! If you’ve been afraid to check it out, I’d urge you to give it a try, it really isn’t that bad. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by trying.

There are two steps to the process of signing up for Obamacare:

  1. You answer simple questions to give them details about your life and your expected income for that tax year. You might find that intrusive, but remember that Obamacare falls under the IRS and they already know everything about your finances already!! Answer those questions and at the end, it will calculate and tell you how much assistance you do or do not qualify for.
  2. Now that you know how much they will pay, they give you the opportunity to choose the Health Insurance Policy that you prefer. For that you go to what is commonly called the Exchange or Marketplace (those are interchangeable terms for the same thing). There you will find many different insurance policies offered by many different private companies in your state. The policies are broken down into three categories: Gold, Silver and Bronze.  They are basically just a simple breakdown of how much they cost and what they offer for the money. Obviously, the more the insurance company pays for your medical expenses the more they cost per month. Remember, there are many other companies and other policies available to the public that are not on the Exchange, but those have chosen to not receive Federal payments from Obamacare. In other words, if you want the government to pay for part of your health insurance, you must get the policy through the Exchange.

I just went through the steps and answered it’s questions, and it turns out that I qualified for government assistance for health care–you can have a surprisingly high income and still get assistance. I make $24,000 a year and qualified for $350 in government assistance under Obamacare. Let me add something important here; you want to be very honest when you fill out your income information. Obamacare is tied into the IRS system and if it turns out you’re wrong about your income, and they give you too much assistance, you will be required to pay it back the next time you file your taxes–so make your very best guess as to your income. If you want to avoid having to pay it back, guess low.

I looked at all the policies available to me on the Exchange), found one I liked and could afford and signed up for it. It cost $400 a month, which was too high, I couldn’t afford to pay that much. However, because Obamacare was going to pay $350 of that my cost would only be $50 a month and I can afford to pay that, so I decided I should sign up. Signing up was easy, I was able to make the first payment on line and it was official, I had health insurance!

The Penalty for NOT signing up was More than what I paid to get it. It would have been stupid not to get it!

A big part of my decision was the penalty for not having insurance. In 2016 the penalty for not getting it is $695 as a minimum and if my  health insurance policy was going to cost me $600 per year ($50 per month for 12 months) that means I’m not really paying anything for it, in fact it’s saving me money over paying the penalty. To me the logic of that is inescapable, it would be penny wise and dollar foolish to not get the coverage.

I wanted the lowest possible monthly payment, so I chose a Bronze, High-Deductible plan. Under my policy I pay 100% of the first $6800 I spend in a year on health care–they pay nothing. But after that initial $6800, they pay 100% of the costs (with no limits) and I pay nothing. In other words it’s a catastrophic policy and doesn’t pay for any routine health stuff, only when I get very sick. Some people  want health insurance to pay for more, but that fits my idea of insurance better so it’s what I chose–plus I could afford the $50 per month! If you want better coverage, chose ether a gold or silver plan, you’ll either have to pay more or get a larger subsidy from Obamcare.

How will you see the Doctor on the Road?   Establish a Homebase in your area of travel.

While Obamacare is a federal government program, much of it has to be administered by the states. Every state has different laws and regulations for the insurance industry, so each insurance company has to be licensed in each state and many times the policies they offer are only good in that state. Unless it is specifically listed as a “Nationwide Policy”–they will only pay for health services you get in-state and from an approved source. That becomes a very important point for nomads! If you live far away from the state where your health insurance is located, and they are not nationwide, how will you get care? You’ll have to drive back to that state for every Doctors visit. Very impractical!

If you can't get a Health Insurance Policy with Nation-wide coverage, it's very important to choose a state that is close to where you live and travel so it's easy to return for health care.

If you can’t get a Health Insurance Policy with Nation-wide coverage, it’s very important to choose a state that is close to where you live and travel so it’s easy to return for health care.

 I suggest you change states of residence to one that is central to where you spend the most time and make that your home base. Then find a doctor there and visit him at least once a year.  For example, I spend nearly all my time in the west, and at least 3-4 months a year in Arizona during the winter. But Arizona has an income tax so I became a Pahrump, Nevada resident instead to avoid taxes. But, as you can see in the map above, it is also very central to all my travels. I plan to travel through there every year for a checkup and if I ever need more attention I could easily make it twice a year, spring and fall. If I have a medical emergency while I’m traveling,  can get emergency care anywhere, and then get back to Nevada and my Doctor as soon as I can.

Expanded Medicaid for the Low Income 

 One problem many nomads run into is that their income is too low to qualify them for Obamacare. That seems strange but it’s true, the cutoff is somewhere around $11,000 dollars. But don’t guess or listen to strangers, go to healthcare.gov and apply–no matter what your income is. Then you’ll know for certain if you do or do not qualify and how much you qualify for.

Obamacare does offer a solution for the low-income by offering Expanded Medicaid, however, it is handled at the state level and not at the Federal level. That means you can’t get Expanded Medicaid  from healthcare.gov, you must get it directly from your home state. That’s where the problem begins!

When they designed Obamacare it was assumed that each state would gladly take Federal money and pass it along to it’s citizens, but, they didn’t take into account how many of the conservative states hate Obamacare (and Obama personally).  Many  states simply refuse to give it’s citizens the money and do not offer Expanded Medicaid.  Fortunately, there’s an easy solution for nomads. Because we get to choose our state of residence, if you are low-income you should consider changing residence to another state that does offer it. For a current list of states that do and do not offer it, go to this page:

https://www.statereforum.org/Medicaid-Expansion-Decisions-Map?gclid=Cj0KEQjw1cS6BRDvhtKL89em1oIBEiQAtZO5x_3pbzf08GLFrUXun0W95LfMkd_MWGmoh-uX-NYC3GAaAnLB8P8HAQ

I’m told there are other ways to get health care coverage for the low-income, but as far as I can tell it’s offered at the state level and you have to search each state to get it. I’m only telling you the things I’m fairly certain of and I know nothing about those other low-income offerings.

The bottom line is that every nomad, unless you are fairly high income, can probably qualify for Obmacare and I’ve found it fairly easy to get and understand. Just go to https://www.healthcare.gov/ and apply, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Now get out there and live a life beyond your wildest dreams!

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https://www.youtube.com/cheaprvliving

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Bob
About

I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

69 comments on “How to Get Health Insurance on the Road: Obamacare.
  1. Calvin Rittenhouse says:

    I have been studying how Medicaid lately, trying to find out how different states administer the program, especially which states offer which benefits. This is difficult. The specifics seem to be buried deep in technical documents. If anyone has found a better way to learn this I would appreciate them sharing.

    In the meantime, I have two links to offer. The first lists which services are mandatory to provide and which are optional. For relatively healthy people, that might answer their questions.

    https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid-chip-program-information/by-topics/benefits/medicaid-benefits.html

    The second is hard to use, but it is the only resource I have found to research the optional benefits. This gives a link to each state with its “State Plan Amendments.” I use this by choosing the state I might want to “live” in and “benefits” as my topic. When the page comes up, I look through the titles of the past few years of benefits to see if I can find anything of interest to me. (The terminology is very technical. For example, I found information about Arizona’s eyeglass benefit under “prosthetics.”) Click on the title, then on “approval document” and scroll down. The letter will tell you what section of the plan this amendment changes, then there’s a form, and beyond that the specific wording. This is a difficult way to learn the information, but some of it is vital. For example, Arizona appears to cover eyeglasses for adults only after cataract surgery.

    https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid-chip-program-information/by-topics/benefits/medicaid-benefits.html

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks for those links Calvin. I wanted to know more to be able to pass it on to folks in need, but it was so difficult to find I gave up. At this point Expanded medicaid is the easiest and best as far as i can tell. May be worth it to move to a state that offers it.
      Bob

      • Calvin Rittenhouse says:

        The thing about “expanded” Medicaid, as far as I know, is that it expands eligibility to participate to people who are low income but not disabled. The covered services are usually the same as whatever that State offers the disabled. The services vary from state to state and from one time to another. (The attitudes also vary, but that’s even harder to uncover.) For example, Arizona is a good climate for people with my health issues, but they don’t cover hearing aids and almost never eyeglasses. New Mexico, if I remember correctly, does. Maybe Texas, too. California is known for social services including Medical, but I’d have to find the details. (Income tax rates mean nothing to me unless I somehow go back to work.)

  2. Tina says:

    Hi Bob,

    Very helpful article for us younger folks. I did not know that you do need to make so much money to get coverage.

    Thanks really good information on these latest articles. 🙂

    Tina

  3. Jeannie says:

    If you need guidance getting signed up, use a broker. It shouldn’t cost you anything and they know the ropes (shop around for an experienced one and ask to be sure they aren’t going to charge you).
    I love Obamacare! I have a silver HMO plan for only $53/month. It covers a lot right away.

  4. Alan says:

    I’ve got Obamacare from Texas through Blue Cross, Blue Shield. It’s a good policy overall, but yes, I have to go back to Texas to see my doctors. The policy only covers medical emergencies out of state. Fortunately, many national pharmacy chains or in the Blue Cross network, so I’ve been able to get the cheaper, negotiated rates on my meds all over the USA. I usually just go to Walmart.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Alan, don’t get sick in Maine!
      Bob

      • Linda Sand says:

        Or get prescriptions filled in New York. Once they transfer it into the state they WILL NOT transfer it out again. You have to find a doctor that will give you new prescriptions. Friends of ours learned this the hard way. New York apparently has a law that they cannot transfer prescriptions out of state but they don’t tell you that until it is too late.

        • Bob Bob says:

          Linda, of course my answer is to be a snowbird and get my meds from Mexico. But that can’t work for everybody–it doesn’t for you. Just another plus to being a nomad–you go where it works best for you.
          Bob

        • Wendy says:

          You can use a mail order pharmacy that originates in that state, or is insurance approved. Every insurance has mail order pharmacy access.

      • dufzor says:

        ??? Why Bob? (Its where I live…just starting to learn about a possible RV lifestyle). Can’t do many more winters here…

  5. sushidog says:

    I’m one of those who would benefit from a health savings account rather than insurance. I pay $100wk for my current plan from my employer (who pays 2/3rds of the premium) however I have not been to the doctor in about 9 years as I simply can’t afford the deductible along with the $100/wk. Last month I came down with the gout(every couple years I have an attack) and couldn’t afford to see a doctor or get any meds, though I’m spending $5,200/yr for basically nothing. As anyone who’s had it knows, it’s pretty painful and tears your foot up pretty bad, taking a while to heal on its own. Had I had a health care savings account instead I could have got treatment, annual checkups (not covered under my plan as it is an old plan grandfathered in), etc. as the money would have been in the bank after a couple months.

    For those under Obamacare with a big deductible, what do you do when you get sick or injured and you don’t have the deductible in the bank? Do they let you go on an installment plan and provide treatment, or do they turn you away till you can pay he full amount? I know the drug store won’t give you your meds unless you have cash in hand, so what’s the point of going to the doctor and him prescribing a bottle of 10 antibiotic pills at $50 a pill if you can’t afford to get them? However If I were paying $100/wk into a healthcare savings account then I could waltz in like a big shot see the doctor and buy the meds he prescribes.

    Chip

    • Bob Bob says:

      Chip, I an a huge fan of HSAs and think they were the best solution for the health care crisis. Make them mandatory at a young age when you are rarely sick, and by the time you need them, they will be huge–and it’s your money in your account–the government can’t spend it!!

      I also have a high deductible, but I have an emergency fund to cover it. I literally have it in gold and silver at my moms house and she will cash it in for me and send it to me if I need the cash. But no one can be turned away from emergency care so you can always do that. If you go to the hospital from there, they will work out a payment plan. Have you tried to qualify for Obamacare to see what they will pay? If too low income then look into Expanded Medicaid, if too high–you’re just screwed and do whatever you can.

      It’s never too late to open a HSA and start feeding it!
      Bob

    • Bob Bob says:

      About prescription meds, if you are a nomad, you live where you can a choose a state that will give you your best coverage. And part of that is being near Mexico where the medications are cheap and you don’t need a prescription.
      Bob

      • sushidog says:

        Thanks for your reply, Bob.

        Never thought of the Mexico option. I knew they had cheap dental, but didn’t know about no scripts needed for meds. As far as HSA’s, I’d like to open one in lieu of insurance, as I can’t afford both, but sadly the law won’t allow it without paying a huge penalty (both for me and DW). Maybe things will change with our new president, whomever that is, that way I might be able to afford some medical treatment, not just some insurance coverage with a deductible so high that I could never get any medical care unless I’m dying.

        Chip

      • Rebecca says:

        Hi Bob,
        I lived in Mexico for 8 years, and was pleased with my medical care there. I now live reasonably close to Ciudad Juarez, but unfamiliar with that area. Do you have any info on dental/medical there as opposed to Algodones?

        • Cliff Wilkie says:

          Have you received useful replies to your questions about dental in Ciudad Juarez? Also do you have any personal recommendations for dental clinics in Algodones?

          My wife and I live in Albuquerque and, like others over 65 years of age, are having trouble finding affordable dental care. Do you have any specifics about dental in either Ciudad Juarez or Algodones. We have heard that going to Mexico for dental is a great way to go about it but would like some detailed info and, in particular, which dental clinics in either place are legitimate and recommended by you or someone else who has actually used these services. We have done website searches and there is too much to choose from and no way to qualify it. All the dental websites say that they are the best and most affordable. I expect some are bogus and that some are far better than others. Do you have any recommendations for either Algodones or Ciudad Juarez?

  6. Mark Elliott says:

    I read quite a few RV blogs to prepare for the day when I go fulltime and have found these to be good health care resources so hopefully you and your readers will find them of value: first one is via Gone with the Wynns https://www.rverinsurance.com/?ap_id=nikkiwynn
    http://wheelingit.us/category/health-care-2/
    https://www.healthsherpa.com/

  7. CTP says:

    I see 11 comments listed but when clicking on the comments to read them the page refreshes and shows 0 comments. Can someone give me an idea on how to read the comments?

  8. CTP says:

    Now that i entered a comment i can read the comments of others.

  9. CTP says:

    In California, MediCal does not pay for glasses but will pay for the exam if you have diabetes.

  10. Cae says:

    Hi bob
    I think I’m going to go for NV residency. Which of your posts have the most detail on getting it in parump?
    Thanks

  11. Voyaginator says:

    Very useful info on how nomads can get affordable healthcare.
    Clearly written, I read your blog regularly.
    Thanks Bob

  12. Omar Storm says:

    Bob,

    Informative post, thanks.

    Omar

  13. Scott says:

    A thought came to mind while reading your post.
    If your deductable is $6800 then does it matter where you spend that money. If you get sick in AZ and go pay an MD cash for your care, isn’t that the same cash you’d spend in NV?

    • Bob Bob says:

      Scott, yes, I’m still out the money, but it does not apply toward the deductible. If my bill in Maryland is $6800, none of it goes toward my deductible. If I pay for that in NV, my deductible is paid off and they start paying 100%.
      Bob

      • Carla says:

        Bob, this must be another thing that varies by state and/or the insurance company you select. I know that with my SD Avera policy, any money I spend out of pocket in any state is applied to my deductible.

        I needed cataract surgery and I wanted to weigh my options for getting it done “in network” in South Dakota vs having it done in Illinois where I am currently working to get my mother’s house on the market. Here is how my Avera policy works: if I had the surgery done at an approved facility in SD, I would pay only my $500 in-network deductible and everything else would be covered. My deductible changes to $5,000 for medical OUTSIDE of the Avery SD network! But, the $2,500 I would pay myself to have it done in Illinois IS then applied to my deductible. So if something catastrophic did happen later this year, I’m halfway to my my deductible.

        (Because there is at least a 3-week span between the initial eye exam and getting on the surgery calendar — I called the eye surgery center to ask lots of questions — I decided to have the eye surgery in Illinois. I had it yesterday. In my situation, I could not leave my ailing mother for 3 weeks plus travel time.)

        Avera’s customer service was very nice and patient with my full-time RVer, out of state most of the time questions.
        Carla recently posted…Survival “Practice Kits” Make Fun GiftsMy Profile

      • Kenneth Hudson says:

        It makes me mad that the only ones benefiting from high deductibles is Insurance Companies.

  14. Something to remember when selecting an ACA (Obamacare) plan is that if your income is on the lower end (i.e. below $25k or so), not only will you qualify for a subsidy, but you also can qualify for “cost sharing” if you select a Silver plan. While some Bronze plans might still have lower monthly premiums (i.e. $50/mo), a slightly more expensive Silver plan with cost-sharing might come out cheaper due to it’s far lower deductibles and out-of-pocket limits.

    For instance, the subsidized cost of my Florida BlueCross Silver nationwide PPO plan is $87/mo, but I have a $0 deductible, very low co-pays on Dr. visits & prescription drugs, and only a $2,000 out-of-pocket maximum.

    If you anticipate needing 1 or 2 Dr visits in the year, and/or take prescription drugs, a cost-sharing Silver plan might actually come out cheaper in your overall out-of-pocket costs than a lower premium/higher deductible Bronze plan. Something to think about!

    A few other things I’ve learned about ACA in the 3 years and 2 states I’ve used it in:
    – the minimum income level to qualify for an ACA subsidized plan is lower only in the NON-Medicaid Expanded states (right now, it’s just under $11,000 for a single person and inches upward every year). If you’re in a Medicaid Expansion state, the minimum income jumps to whatever that state’s Medicaid threshold is (Last year in Illinois, that was around $16,000 for a single person).
    – “Income” includes not only earned income (i.e. wages from a job or profit from business activities), but also passive income such as capital gains, dividends, interest, 401k distributions, etc.
    – Another interesting way to show “income” is to convert a portion of a Traditional IRA or Rollover 401k to a Roth IRA. You will need to pay taxes on whatever amount you convert (and must do the conversion before 12/31 each year), but if it’s late in the year and you find your income falling short of the ACA minimum, it may be worth it to do so to avoid having to pay back your entire subsidies for the year.

    Hope these ideas help!
    Lynne (WinnieViews) recently posted…My New Winnie View!My Profile

    • Bob Bob says:

      Lynne, thank you so much for that very, very helpful information. That’s all things I don’t know because I don’t have the time or interest to do the research. Thank you!!
      Bob

    • FALCON says:

      Thank you Lynn. I was wondering exactly what counts as income..

      Now I will have an interesting puzzle to optimize taxes and subsidies: How much to convert from my IRA to Roth IRA? How much, if any, capital gains to take by selling stocks? How much income to make (and report) from my hobbies?

  15. Gary says:

    Is it not required to report a change of address to the insurance company if you are no longer living at the physical address that was originally given to them?

    • Bob Bob says:

      Gary, to be honest I don’t know. I’m sure they expect you to, but I don’t know if there are ramifications if you don’t.
      Bob

  16. Jewellann says:

    Bob this blog was great as usual and full of good info

    Even tho I’m old enough and banged up enough to receive SSD and have Medicare coverage I still try to learn as much as I can about “Obamacare” in various states. I do this because of all the rumors about SSD benefits going broke with SSI and SS following close behind.
    While I do worry about these things I do not obsess about them.

    The Internet is a great tool however to me sometimes there is so much info it makes my brain hurt!

    Since I have been on SSD and Medicare I’ve learned that there are programs in many states that will help pay Medicare premiums, deductables, and co-pays including Part D which is prescription coverage.

    What helped me as I moved from Tx to Sd to Ky to Al was using the telephone and calling the state I was thinking about moving to and just asking for the info. I needed. I always asked for the persons name that I spoke with and thanked them too for helping me. I’d tell them my benefit amount and ask about state aid that I would be eligible for. I always received the info I requested. I wonder if this would work for “Obamacare” info too. I just find too much conflicting info on the different web sites or cannot get the answers to my questions.

    Having lived in 4 states in 10 years I found SD to be the easiest to gain access to services and to get my questions answered. They also have a good energy assistance program based on income levels. Freeman SD has a small city park to camp in for free and and my truck tags and ins. was cheaper there than in TX, I lived in Parker county, 35 miles SW of Sioux Falls.

    As income taxes are not an issue for me I would like to spend part of each year there. If I only had a heart errr brain…no that’s not it…..IF I ONLY HAD A VAN!
    Texas Jbird

    • Bob Bob says:

      Jewellan, that does sound like a very good idea to call ahead before making any decisions. Thanks for that reminder and all the good info!!

      Obamacare is a Federal program so no, calling the state would not help much for the majority of us. If you need Expanded Medicaid–which is the part of Obamacare for the low income–then calling the states ahead would be a great idea!! Many states simply don’t offer it, but they may offer something else. The only way to know is to call and ask!

      What you lack in a van, you more than make up for in heart and brains!!
      Bob

  17. Mike Yukon says:

    Awesome job of explaining Obamacare! Thank you.

  18. Marshall says:

    Good morning Bob,

    After being a Florida resident for 20 years I can tell you it offers nothing. If you are sick good luck.

    On the other hand Colorado has an issue up for vote in November. What is up for vote is a single payer health care plan. If this issue passes in November Colorado will be the first State in the Union to incorporate free health care for all paid for by the State.

    Health care is very important as you grow older so you must be wise in picking locations to park and live.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Marshall, I’ve heard many great things about Colorado’s indigent care so this seems like a natural step up for them. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!
      Bob

  19. JIM PETERSON says:

    I had thought we might have to change our residency state from Idaho because it doesn’t offer Expanded Medicaid but our income of $19,584 is too high for EM anyway. On the other hand, Annie is eligible for several plans with $0 deductible at well under $100/month. It helps that the two of us share that income and I don’t need a plan as my VA eligibility qualifies as ACA compliant. The vast majority of those who lament Obamacare have no legitimate understanding of how many lives are significantly improved by having affordable access to healthcare once they are no longer working and their income is greatly reduced. The lamenters also tend to be conservatives — living in a fantasy where common sense ain’t so common and logic never gets invited in out of the cold.
    JIM PETERSON recently posted…What Happened to Retirement?My Profile

    • Bob Bob says:

      Jim, I agree totally, no doubt it has been bad for a few people, it has been a god-send for many more. Only time will be able to judge its success seen in the big picture, much too early to tell. It’s been good for me! They are giving me $350 a month just out of the blue. However, the biggest question remains where is the money going to come from? I don’t think that’s been answered yet.
      Bob

  20. Carl says:

    I’d just like to give a shout out to the unsung heroes of our new society; the young people we’ve duped into our largess.

    My wife and I retired early to go off the grid reducing our income to the point that we are subsidized to tune of $1450 a month health care premiums. Of course our insurer is canceling our plan at the end of the year due to higher costs than estimated (imagine that) so we’ll have to find a new provider. Hopefully they will be generous with future generation’s contributions also.

    How we pulled this off at the same time they are on the hook for our SS is beyond me but we owe it all to our glorious politicians that are able to sell BS to a naive & easily manipulated youngsters.

    Our primary and secondary educators have served us and themselves well to sucker the inexperienced into degrees that are worthless and simultaneously pay our exorbitant expenses.

    Here’s to you, our impressionable young led by wolves. You’re gonna need that $15/hr minimum wage now more than ever. Just go to university for 4 years, accumulate $20,000 to $60,000 in tuition debt to learn this important mantra, “Would you like fries with that?”

  21. Mels says:

    Our situation is a bit complicated. Our kids are the only ones that need coverage, as my husband is covered under his plan and we are currently on expanded medicaid for the kids. I am disabled, so I am covered by Medicare A and B, and meds are covered by D. We aren’t sure about our domicile states.
    Ironically our kids are rarely sick. They got the suggested check up and were perfect. I guess we are going to have to pick our current state as our domicile state, and pay our taxes and treat this like a bit vacation…

  22. Brittany says:

    Hi Bob,

    First I have to say I love your site and YouTube videos! Incredibly informative.

    Secondly, my husband and I are hoping to sell our home this spring and become full time airstreamers. Despite my desire to be free spirited, I am quite the planner. I figured ObamaCare would be the solution for our health insurance on the road but now it seems likely that it will be done away with. Any thoughts on what you will do for health insurance if that is the case, or what you’d recommend others do? My husband and I are in our late twenties to early thirties but the thought of not having health insurance makes me feel uneasy.

    Thanks again Bob! You’ve been a great source of inspiration for us as a younger couple to embark on this adventure now instead of waiting until retirement.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Brittany, I don’t have anything else to offer if Obamacare is repealed, which seems likely. However, for a young couple a Health Saving Account is ideal and what I would do if I were you. Greatly oversimplified, it’s like an IRA but it is only for health care. You put the money in an account at the bank and it stays your money that you use to pay your medical bills. You get the tax deductions like an IRA and you can spend it on anything at any time. But if you buy a new engine for your car with it, you will have to pay back the tax savings, no other penalties. You do have to buy a high-deductible health insurance policy, but hopefully that won’t be too much. Being young, you won’t spend the money you put in the HSA and before long you will have the cash in there to cover the deductible.

  23. Tom Lawlor says:

    Greetings Bob;
    Well now that our country is heading off the deep end into a Fascist state all bets are off. I’ve owned 4 fiberglass egg shell campers over the years for recreational use. We were lucky to be born and raised in Montana. I’ve been planning to retire at 61 1/2. I’m 59 now. My hope has been to live the nomadic lifestyle for a long time.I bought after much research a 20 ft. Ascend travel trailer for my wife our dog and I. We’ll have around 70k in a 401k plan a small pension and S.S.I. with no debt.Even though our health is good at the moment in my mind with the screwed up for profit health care system in this country and the likely fact of upcoming vouchers for Medicare and dumping S.S.I. into the stock market instead of raising the cap has put great fear into me for taking the plunge you talk about in your very inspiring videos. I have a good job with Health insurance that I like working at most of the time but am getting tired. Will watch and see what happens but its looking more and more like I’ll unfortunately have to go to part time which I have an option for in my job just to keep health insurance. I very much enjoy your positive outlook but health care is the elephant in the room.

    • Bob Bob says:

      I must admit, things are looking bad, but I think it’s much too early for so much doom and gloom. I’m also concerned Obamacare may disappear, but I’ll just do without it until 65. I don’t think health insurance is that big a deal. I do not believe we will be impacted by any changes to Medicare, we’ll be grandfathered in and any changes will be for younger people only. They’ll never get it past AARP, we are just too big a voting block.

    • jack says:

      Well, bye bye to Obamacare. Tom, please keep your political beliefs and nasty LIES about fascism to your leftist hateful self, m’kay? You destroy all the fun out of living off grid by bringing YOUR politics to the table! GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS!

      • Lisa says:

        Well, my hateful leftist self is hoping to pay for your Medicare for All, which will make life for all those off grid much easier and safer.

        It will pay for medical care no matter where you live or move to during the year. It will be cheaper than private insurance and medications are include

  24. jakir chy says:

    Great,

    great read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about . Love this post!!
    It’s so interesting to see the statistics of a lifestyle we are trying to make work for us.It sounds as
    if you have worked yourself to where you want to be . Congratulations and continued good fortune!

  25. Diana says:

    I will lose my group health insurance in December when we retire. I have been communicating with an insurance broker I found at Escapees.com. Greg has been able to answer a lot of my questions and he will have the 2018 Obamacare rates in October. If rates take another big jump, we will establish residency in Costa Rica or Panama for affordable health care. We’ll be there the required months to maintain residency, then RV in north america the remaining months of the year. For more information on leaving the US to afford health care and retirement, InternationalLiving.com is a good resource. With any luck, the politicians will work together to stabalize the market and get premiums back under control. This is such a nice forum. I look forward to more kind and respecteful conversation in the future!

  26. Wayne says:

    Something to think about. Use NV as a state of res. Live in southern az in the winter and boondock in the national forests in the north in the summer. The elevation in the north moderates the temp. Quartsite in the winter.

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