Medical Considerations for Full-Time RVers

We stopped full-timing eighteen months ago. We left the road for medical reasons. But now, due to a remarkable series of events, we are moving back into the RV again in a couple of weeks and resuming the journey. You can watch me tell the story here. Our experiences have taught us a few things, and I thought I would share them with you. I am not a medical expert, nor is this an exhaustive coverage of the subject, but are a few recommendations. Be sure and read to the end because the most important advice I have for you is there.

First, understand that you can have a severe medical crisis while RVing and still manage it. Don’t let health care issues keep you off the road unless you have ongoing medical problems that require continuing treatment where you are.

Health Insurance: I would recommend you have health insurance whether you travel or not. Yes, it can be expensive. But there are some more affordable options available. You need to be sure your insurance is portable. That is that the coverage is the same wherever you go. You never know when a medical issue might arise, so you want to have insurance that will cover you wherever you are. There are a growing number of outlets for such coverage. I am retired and have Medicare coverage. But when I began looking for a supplemental policy, I turned to RV Insurance Benefits. Luke worked with me to find the best coverage, and I am delighted with his service. Whatever source you use, be sure your coverage is portable.

Medications: They are not difficult to acquire on the road. Understand how your drug coverage works to maximize your savings. Don’t wait until the last minute to have your prescriptions filled. You don’t want to be boondocking in the middle of nowhere when your medication runs out. If you get your medicines through a mail-order service, keep your address current, so your medication goes to the right place.

Doctors: Don’t stop seeing your doctor! Be sure to keep your regular appointments. When we first began full-timing, we kept the doctors we had been seeing for years and planned to be back in the area yearly and make appointments while we were there. When we needed advice while away, we would call them. My primary care physician was not comfortable with treating me over the phone. He was a good doctor I liked, but I needed someone comfortable treating me from afar. So while back in my home area, I sought recommendations from friends and found a doctor who understood what we were doing and was willing to treat me remotely when necessary. COVID has made this much more accessible. Many doctors’ offices do virtual visits regularly, so traveling has made traveling easier. A year ago, I received a double transplant, a liver and a kidney. Now I have an appointment with the transplant team every three months. At least every other appointment will be virtual, which will allow us to travel to be away from our home area for six months at a time. We will schedule all of our face-to-face appointments when we are there.

Lab Work: Some of us have to have regular lab work. I have found good places to get lab work by doing a Google search and reading the reviews. I ask them if they do the tests I need and the timeliness of getting the results to my doctors. It is advisable to be sure the lab will accept your insurance.

Emergencies: It’s straightforward, go to the nearest emergency room.

FMCA Assist: In my opinion, one thing that is an absolute must is to be a member of the Family Motor Coach Association. One of the many benefits you will receive by joining FMCA is their service FMCA Assist. When I became critically ill in south Texas, FMCA transported me from Texas to Michigan and had my truck and fifth wheel driven from Texas to Michigan at no cost! Every member receives this fantastic benefit. You can buy such coverage from several providers for several hundred dollars or join FMCA for sixty dollars. The membership is worth the price without FMCA Assist, so how could you miss such an amazing opportunity. You can join FMCA here. Please tell them I sent you and give them my membership number, F477689, and I will get a small credit toward my renewal

Most medical issues should not keep you from RVing. Just plan ahead, be prepared and you will be fine.

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