JohnJen

Medical Insurance

11 posts in this topic

As my wife and I are getting ready to become full timer's, I was wondering how people handle health/medical issues while traveling around the country. Right now, our coverage is with Blue Shield of California and they don't pay for anything out of state unless it's an emergency. Any information or ideas greatly appreciated.

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My wife and I just started fulltiming in November after approximately 3 years of preparation. Our winters will be spent in the central Texas hill country where we have lived for many years and our insurance is a PPO which covers our area specifically, and most of the state in general. Somewhere in Texas will always be our home base so the only time we will really need medical care when we are traveling will be in an emergency situation. Otherwise we will continue to see physicians we have always seen for annual exams.

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JohnJen, welcome to the Forum and to full timing. When we retired we had insurance with our previous employers. We had to pay for the insurance but it was part of a group and good insurance. Unfortunately, it was like yours, based in our original home state. We maintained that insurance for twelve years using our son and daughters addresses for our local address. A local address was required to maintain the insurance. We returned to visit family each spring and fall and did our routine doctor visits at those times. If we had routine health concerns, those were addressed at our twice a year visits with our doctors. We were both in good health and only had a couple of incidents in which we had to use "out of network" insurance. I had total knee replacements this summer so we spent the whole summer in Missouri for the insurance coverage.

You don't mention your age or your health. Both would be part of the decision on how to handle your insurance. We both recently reached the magic age and are on Medicare now. We selected original Medicare with a part B supplement so we can get medical care anywhere we go and we are covered. Our part B supplement even covers foreign countries for the first 60 days out of country. That is useful if you plan to spend time in Canada. If you aren't to Medicare age yet, this is something to consider. If you have significant health problems you may have to stay close to California to utilize your insurance there. The price benefits of group insurance make it almost impossible to go independent and get similar coverage. If your health is good, you may want to change insurance and find coverage that is based where you will spend most of your time.

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John & Jen,

As Tom said, welcome to the forum. We retired out of California a few years ago and are full timers also. We both had Blue Cross/Blue Shield managed by Anthem through Cal PERS. As part of my research before moving our domicile to South Dakota, I found our existing Blue Cross Basic plan could be transferred to "Blue Cross Out of State" status. It cost another hundred and something dollars per month to initiate that plan. So we have Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage everywhere in the U.S. We have had no trouble finding Blue Cross/Blue Shield providers (doctors, hospitals) during our travels.

Since then I went onto Medicare as Tom described, but my secondary insurance still is Blue Cross/Blue Shield out of state.

Call your insurance and ask if they have an out of state program. If no go, talk to a supervisor (or more), read everything on their website, and have them send you written copies of their plan's policies. I found some phone reps are not familiar with the out of state coverage. And you may find another alternative in the process. Yes it is time consuming but worth it in the end.

Chuck

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Tom and Louise,

Just want to thank you for your reply. It was very helpful and enlightening. Now I just have to get it started before we hit the road in April.

Once again thank you.

John and Jennifer

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Does anyone out there have AARP for secondary coverage? My 96 year old mother has it and it seem to do well for her.

My wife is still working and we have BC/BS through her company. She will be retiring this yaer and will need to get part 'B' and secondary. I have VA to cover my Meds., but I will probably join her with the secondary coverage.

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We have the AARP / United Healthcare supplimental. Also the part d for medicine. The healthcare insurance cost about $300 for both of us. Have not had to pay a cent to doctors since we had the plan. The part d leaves a lot to be desired for us, both are on medications that are tier 3, and we will both probably have to pay $2500 for medicine this year. If you can get genarac medicines it will pay almost everything.

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I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned ehealthinsurance.com, this is a very handy web site for researching health insurance rates anywhere in the country. PPO plans seem to be the best option for full timers, providing coverage without needing a primary care physician. High deductable plans with health savings accounts are available and worth considering, for younger heathy full timers. Hope this helps!

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Hi

Well we are finally going fulltiming starting Dec. 1, 2012. We are from Canada, have some coverage for out of province for 30 days. We are 60 and 59 years young, no health issues.

I would like to know what coverage is out there for the Canadians from Ontario for the Snowbirds.

thanks

Linda

FMCA #F423688

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