RV LIFE Podcast

Health Insurance Mysteries: A Conversation About Coverage, Cost, and Medicare for RVers

November 08, 2023 Dan & Patti Hunt Season 2 Episode 54
Health Insurance Mysteries: A Conversation About Coverage, Cost, and Medicare for RVers
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RV LIFE Podcast
Health Insurance Mysteries: A Conversation About Coverage, Cost, and Medicare for RVers
Nov 08, 2023 Season 2 Episode 54
Dan & Patti Hunt

Ever been blindsided by unexpected medical bills when you thought your health insurance had you covered? Carly Ziegler, certainly has. Join us as we chat with Carly, a licensed health insurance agent with RV Insurance Benefits, who shares her personal journey into the world of health insurance, triggered by a horse-riding accident that left her seriously out-of-pocket. Together, we'll explore the unique challenges faced by RVers in securing comprehensive, nationwide health insurance coverage, and glean expert insights.

Are there hidden subsidies that could make your healthcare more affordable? What are the pros and cons of private health insurance plans? How does my domicile state affect health insurance?  Carly breaks down these complexities and more, shedding light on how to find plans that even cover alternative health treatments. Whether you're nearing or over 65 or well under,  Carly's got you covered walking us through the process.

Health insurance can be challenging to understand and know who to trust, trying to call different insurance companies to compare prices and coverage is confusing and overwhelming. One call to a company like RVer Insurance Benefits does all the research and comparing prices, plans, subsidies available to you and can answer all of your questions. 

If you're an RVer part time, sometime or full time and looking to understand more about health insurance, tune in for an episode packed with actionable information. 

For information go to RVer Insurance Benefits, they never share or sell your information.
RVer Insurance Benefits
or call
1-888-337-1705

**If you are interested in seeing how you can camp for less than $9 a night, like we do.
Fill out the form to get the latest information and special promotions.
http://bit.ly/3Ql3eMX

For a quicker response Call/text: Jim & Brandy Reneau  at (770) 622-4188
Let them know Dan & Patti Hunt sent you and they will take great care of you.


Special Discounts Codes: Click Link & Use Code

RV LIFE Pro Click the link for 25% off
• Motorhome Tires: $50 discount FIND MY INSTALLER
•Thousand Trail Membership Call/Text Membership Specialist Warren & Sharon Lewis 804-366-0798
CLEAR2O
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LITO - Luxury In The Outdoors
Open Roads Innovative Tolling Solutions
Toll pass, all 48 state & customer support
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Code: HUNT20 for 20% off
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6 great ...

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever been blindsided by unexpected medical bills when you thought your health insurance had you covered? Carly Ziegler, certainly has. Join us as we chat with Carly, a licensed health insurance agent with RV Insurance Benefits, who shares her personal journey into the world of health insurance, triggered by a horse-riding accident that left her seriously out-of-pocket. Together, we'll explore the unique challenges faced by RVers in securing comprehensive, nationwide health insurance coverage, and glean expert insights.

Are there hidden subsidies that could make your healthcare more affordable? What are the pros and cons of private health insurance plans? How does my domicile state affect health insurance?  Carly breaks down these complexities and more, shedding light on how to find plans that even cover alternative health treatments. Whether you're nearing or over 65 or well under,  Carly's got you covered walking us through the process.

Health insurance can be challenging to understand and know who to trust, trying to call different insurance companies to compare prices and coverage is confusing and overwhelming. One call to a company like RVer Insurance Benefits does all the research and comparing prices, plans, subsidies available to you and can answer all of your questions. 

If you're an RVer part time, sometime or full time and looking to understand more about health insurance, tune in for an episode packed with actionable information. 

For information go to RVer Insurance Benefits, they never share or sell your information.
RVer Insurance Benefits
or call
1-888-337-1705

**If you are interested in seeing how you can camp for less than $9 a night, like we do.
Fill out the form to get the latest information and special promotions.
http://bit.ly/3Ql3eMX

For a quicker response Call/text: Jim & Brandy Reneau  at (770) 622-4188
Let them know Dan & Patti Hunt sent you and they will take great care of you.


Special Discounts Codes: Click Link & Use Code

RV LIFE Pro Click the link for 25% off
• Motorhome Tires: $50 discount FIND MY INSTALLER
•Thousand Trail Membership Call/Text Membership Specialist Warren & Sharon Lewis 804-366-0798
CLEAR2O
Open Road Fuel Card save on Diesel Fuel
LITO - Luxury In The Outdoors
Open Roads Innovative Tolling Solutions
Toll pass, all 48 state & customer support
Open Road Resorts Mention RV LIFE Podcast
National Vehicle great place to sell your RV
Harvest Hosts Boondockers Welcome
Code: HUNT20 for 20% off
Sponsors
National Indoor RV Centers
6 great ...

Speaker 1:

Do you have the right health insurance? This is the RV Live Podcast. I'm Dan Hunt with my incredible wife, Fattie Hunt, and we are here today to solve the RV health insurance, which is difficult at best, but we're going to solve all the mysteries about health insurance and living on the road. We have that girl with us today.

Speaker 2:

Health insurance is something we personally have struggled with. Traveling around the country for almost three years, I got to say it's been difficult. So we actually are looking for the answers for ourselves as well today, Now that sound means it's time for today's fun fact.

Speaker 1:

Fun fact is brought to you by Open Road Resorts, with four great locations in Montana, Utah and Texas.

Speaker 2:

And today we are in Texas at one of the Open Road Resorts, which is Dallas and Ecampground, and it is beautiful here, like this site is huge, the site that we have huge. Absolutely it's not big, it's not large.

Speaker 1:

We could have pulled through. We could have pulled through. We have the Jeep on the back. We didn't have to get out and take it out, we just pulled in. We pulled in here last night at around eight o'clock. It was dark out, it was cold out. I did not, after driving two and a half hours in Dallas Texas traffic, want to get out and do anything. So we pulled into this spot and we parked it. We left the car on overnight and it's just great. This place has been absolutely incredible.

Speaker 2:

Right, and next week we'll talk more about the campground and the area. We're super excited, but for today's fun fact, let's get into health insurance. And in 2022, 27.6 million Americans of all ages did not have health insurance. Now that number was down from the 33.2 million people that didn't have health insurance the year before. I want to find out why the number went down, but that's still such a large number.

Speaker 1:

Now today's fun fact has been brought to you by Open Road Resorts, with four great locations in Montana, utah and Texas.

Speaker 2:

In traveling in your RV. How do you navigate? Do you use a paper map, a GPS, or do you use Google Maps? Our sponsor, rv TripWizard, has the solution and it just works.

Speaker 1:

It just works. This is the RV Live Podcast. I'm Dan Hunt, with my incredible wife, patty Hunt, and our special guest today from RV Insurance Benefits, which is a Texas-based health insurance agency founded in 2008. Rvers face, let's just say, special needs when it comes to finding nationwide health insurance coverage. Today's guest has been a licensed health insurance agent with RV Insurance Benefits for four years. She's a native of Northern Virginia and she currently resides in a Styx and Bricks. What the hell is a Styx and Bricks? So she resides in Styx and Bricks in Northern Carolina. She's an avid equestrian. She's got a horsey and frequently travels out of state for competitions.

Speaker 2:

And Dan is talking about our very knowledgeable guest, Carly Ziegler. Welcome to the RV Live Podcast.

Speaker 3:

Thank you, dan. Thank you Patty. I am so excited to be here. I can't wait to get into health insurance.

Speaker 2:

That's what we'd like to hear Excitement about health insurance. Now let's find out a little bit about you first. You had an accident, actually while riding one of those horses, and that led you to health insurance. Can you tell the listeners about that story?

Speaker 3:

Yes. Well, so to start off, I don't think anyone grows up when they're a child thinking I can't wait to be a licensed health insurance agent when I get older. So I sort of stumbled into my career really well, through the horses. I had an out of network horse fall and it resulted in a broken bone and I needed to have a surgery done and I just assume that my health insurance plan would cover that. That's why I paid for health insurance. I thought and that was a little bit naive on my part and I came to find that since I was out of network, I paid for my broken bone. So I got connected with my boss and with my agency RV insurance benefits and I am really passionate about helping people who travel find good health insurance coverage, because I went through sort of a bad health insurance situation myself. So I understand.

Speaker 1:

So now, carly RVers truly have I love this term special needs when it comes to health insurance. Patty and I are in a different state every single week, so we are always out of network, whatever the hell that means. So let's talk about how your company caters to the special needs of me and my listeners.

Speaker 3:

So we are an agency of health insurance agents that are licensed and contracted with many different insurance companies. So our goal when we talk to an RVer is to set them up with a plan that's going to be the most suitable for that specific person, because even within the realm of RVers everybody's going to have different needs and, based on your domicile state, your health information, certain things could change what product is going to be best for you. So we try to find nationwide products, of course, and then from that bucket of plans that we have that are nationwide, we talk to people, assess their needs and help them select a suitable plan off of that.

Speaker 2:

Okay. So I want to go back a little bit to the story you told when you fell off your horse, and then we could talk about nationwide insurance. Hell, it's different, because my thought was, if there's an emergency, we need to go to a hospital by ambulance, we need to go to the ER. I thought when I had insurance that I'd be covered because I've had regular insurance. I was a teacher. They actually gave us great health insurance, so I thought I'd be covered. But based on what you're saying, you're not covered. Is that correct, can you?

Speaker 3:

expand on that.

Speaker 3:

I'd be happy to elaborate.

Speaker 3:

So that is going to depend on your specific plan.

Speaker 3:

At the time I had a marketplace plan, so commonly referred to as Obamacare or ACA, and people really do frequently have a misconception there that in the event of an emergency they are quote unquote, covered by their insurance. But I'd urge them to be really careful with that term, because so I broke my collarbone. I did not take an ambulance, but I did go to the emergency room and my plan did technically cover out of network emergency room visits, but it was after I fulfilled my $7,000 or $8,000 deductible and the emergency visit didn't cost $7,000 or $8,000. I think it was maybe $3,000 or $4,000 total. And then the other thing is I needed surgery and I didn't get surgery that day. I had to wait, I had to get an X-ray, I had to do all these other things and with my plan and with most of that type of plan, they're going to not cover out of network surgeries or hospital stays, just the ER visit. So as soon as you take the elevator to the hospital and you're admitted, your emergency coverage is gone with most of those plans.

Speaker 1:

You said something in our pre-interview that we were talking the other day that said, as soon as you get on the elevator in the hospital and they take you up to your room, you no longer have that coverage, and that just freaked me out. I didn't sleep the other night. Thank you very much, but um.

Speaker 3:

Oh God.

Speaker 2:

Another health issue? Yeah, yeah right.

Speaker 1:

So let's talk and get a little bit into detail about RV coverage and, again, our special needs that we have. I need to see a doctor on Zoom meeting or whatever MedHealth meeting or whatever the hell they call it these days. But is that possible in today's environment? Or do I have to Like? I know a couple that they go back to their home state of Texas every once in a while because they got to get their doctor's appointments taken care of. That just seems ridiculous to me.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, a lot of people are forced to do that based on their health insurance plan. If you have a plan that is an HMO or is a state-specific plan, you have to return to the network for medical care, which can be inconvenient, but some people don't mind doing that once a year, just scheduling that into their travels. I think, again, the bigger issue with those plans is, man, if you're spending a lot of time out of network, as soon as you're stepping foot out of your state, your domicile state, you're functionally uninsured and that is really scary. People buy health insurance to mitigate financial risk, to protect their hard-earned life savings, and those big events that they're worried about. Those don't happen at a convenient time when they're in their planned network for the one week of the year that they return there for their doctor's visits. Those big events frequently happen when people least expect them or least want them to happen, when they're outside of the network. So finding a nationwide plan, if possible, is absolutely critical if you are on the road.

Speaker 2:

OK, so you've convinced us. We've seen this sort of firsthand. We also know I'm going to throw something else in there People who say, well, I'm going to be self-paid, so they have accounts, and I'm going to say it and kind of answer it and you could chime in, but they have accounts that if there is something medical they could pay out of pocket. Well, three, four, five days in a hospital, and you're looking at $30, $40, $50 plus thousand dollars, depending on what's wrong. So that may not be the best plan either, right?

Speaker 3:

That's correct. I don't recommend. I mean I sell health insurance for a living, so there's that, but I don't recommend self-insuring. I just. There are million dollar claims and things that happen and the average person doesn't have that amount of money allocated just sitting to cover some massive health insurance bill.

Speaker 1:

OK, so Patty and I travel all the time, as you know, and we were recently in Pennsylvania at a large RVers event and we hosted a big cocktail party with 500 people, let's say.

Speaker 2:

You didn't invite me. I didn't invite you. Weren't you there? You will be on the list next.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you'll be on the list next year. Were you there? Were you at the Hershey RV show? No, no, oh, OK well.

Speaker 3:

Well, you got to be there next year I go to some on the East Coast, so keep an eye out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're on our way to the Tampa RV show. Right now we're in Texas making our way down to Florida. You know, we had a conversation sitting around a table four or five people and the one lady was adamant that her husband couldn't be covered because he had a preexisting condition. Is that a big factor for people? Or when somebody comes to your company, can you pretty much just cover them because they're a human being?

Speaker 3:

So that is a great question. Preexisting conditions are absolutely still a thing with some health insurance plans. A lot of people think that when the Affordable Care Act got passed, that did away with the preexisting condition limitations and exclusions, and that is not correct. It did with the Affordable Care Act plans. But if you're searching for a private health insurance plan that's nationwide and off of the marketplace which is what people are typically seeking when they're full-time RVers those plans tend to be medically underwritten, so you do have to qualify. Now, not all is lost if you cannot medically qualify for a private health insurance plan. There are some PPO plans available through the marketplace, but you got to know where to look and that's going to be dependent on what state you are domiciled in, so it gets a little more complicated.

Speaker 1:

So domicile is very, very important. Now there's four or five states out there, primarily tax reasons, that I'm going to say 80 or 90 percent of full-time RVers are already domiciled in. Are all those states OK Like? Talk about Florida, texas, talk about the North Dakota, the South Dakota?

Speaker 3:

So not all states are created equal when it comes to health insurance and what. So what's going to be dependent is, first off, whether you medically qualify for a private health insurance plan and whether you're pursuing that avenue, or whether you're needing to get a affordable care act plan. If you're looking for private health insurance, you're in pretty good shape in all of those states versus if you need a affordable care act plan through the marketplace. Please do not domicile in South Dakota. I am inundated with calls right now from people that were on South Dakota marketplace plans that are getting kicked off of them because apparently now in 2024, they have to physically be present in the state for nine months out of the year in order to qualify for the health insurance coverage. So yeah, if you're a South Dakota resident and you have a marketplace plan, you might consider changing your domicile to the Sunshine State. I hear Florida is lovely this time of year and they have a great PPO plan available, so you might boogie on down to Florida.

Speaker 1:

Does anybody live in South Dakota? Is that what you were saying? South Dakota Nine months out of the year?

Speaker 2:

I mean does anybody live in South?

Speaker 1:

Dakota Nine months out of the year.

Speaker 2:

Does anybody want to? Ok, so I will say that, in the interests of this podcast, we're trying to make health insurance simple. But we've talked about PPO. We didn't even mention HMO. We we mentioned doh-bob-a-care, affordable care. There's a lot, a lot here, and we're going to break down as much as possible. But, at the end of the day, my suggestion because I've been through these kinds of things with health insurance and still don't have it all down you need to go to somebody who is reliable, and so the one thing about RV insurance benefits is and you touched on it I want you to dive into it a little more you don't work for any one insurance company, correct? So like Dan and I come in or call you up and say this is our situation and you go out and find what's best for us, is that correct?

Speaker 3:

That is absolutely correct, and we try to get contracted with a variety of companies so that we are as unbiased as possible. Now, there are some products that are just going to, in general, be more suitable for a larger pool of people, but we are not affiliated with just one particular company.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so all of my questions, all of the concerns, all of the issues, I could do one stop shopping. I could come to you, I could throw all of our information out on the table and you could figure it out for us.

Speaker 1:

Carly's going to be very sorry she ever met us because you're our new best friend.

Speaker 3:

Hey, I love to hear that. I love to help people, and if I can't help them, I'm real good at pointing them in the right direction to get where they need to go.

Speaker 1:

Go south. The sunshine state go south. We are domiciled in Florida. My next question is one that I think everybody has at the top of their head all the time how has COVID changed the landscape?

Speaker 3:

COVID's done a couple things. It has dramatically increased the desire for telehealth services and systems, which is amazing for people that are via and travel just because it can be so challenging to get an appointment, particularly a same day appointment in a place. So with the telehealth, there's a lot of systems where you can call in 24-7-365, and the telehealth provider can prescribe medications or treat some common conditions and illnesses. The other thing that COVID did that changed the health insurance landscape is, I think it just brought a lot of awareness to the fact that people really need coverage. So the number of Americans that have health insurance has actually risen dramatically since pre-COVID times and it grows every year.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so wait, I want to clarify that. You're saying the number of people that are actually covered has increased. Okay, that's good news.

Speaker 3:

There was more uninsured people prior to COVID than there is now. So every year the amount of uninsured people in America tends to go down because of COVID. Essentially, they realize how necessary it is to have coverage.

Speaker 2:

Right, and now has it become more affordable? We got to address the elephant in the room and that is people's idea that health insurance is going to break the bank.

Speaker 3:

It has become more affordable in some ways. So with COVID the federal government did increase the premium tax credits, which are subsidies for the Affordable Care Act plans, and those subsidies got renewed by the Inflation Reduction Act last fall and they're good for another year at least. So what that means is if you were to purchase an Affordable Care Act plan through healthcaregov or your state marketplace, based on your household income, you could be eligible for premium subsidies. So the government could pay a chunk of your premium and those subsidies can make the health insurance premiums dramatically more affordable for some people. So the subsidies, in my eyes, are a blessing and a curse. They're a blessing because it's always good to have affordable health insurance.

Speaker 3:

I want to see people not go broke over paying their health insurance premiums. The curse is that people see those subsidies and they see free health insurance or cheap health insurance and that's what they want, even when the plan might not be nationwide coverage, it might not cover them out of network, it might not be the best fit. So a little bit of a blessing and a curse there. And the private plans that are not through the marketplace, they do not experience those subsidies, they don't have the government involvement. So those plans, I would say the premiums for them have gone up a little bit in the last couple years, just like everything else and I'm going to just be a broken record here and it's due to inflation.

Speaker 1:

Okay, carly, I've got two questions. I'm going to kind of throw you a couple curveballs here. One is are you going to tell me if I go into a private plan, there's places that I can't go because I wouldn't have coverage?

Speaker 3:

It depends on your private plan. That totally depends on the plan. There are some health insurance plans that I'm contracted with that do not have any network restrictions. They use a PPO network. So that's preferred providers, and if you go to those doctors and providers you'll get a discount. But they don't restrict you to them. You can go visit any doctor or provider that you want with that type of policy. So you really have freedom of choice. If you choose to get one of those types of plans, Others will limit you to a network.

Speaker 1:

Okay, there's a lot of people these days that are into naturalism and natureism and all that kind of stuff. Isms, oh yeah. Are there plans that cover alternative health coverages like acupuncture and those kind of things?

Speaker 3:

Good luck with that. You can find a little bit of it. You can find some plans that will provide coverage for chiropractic care, a little bit of acupuncture. You can find some plans that will accept like a naturopathic doctor, if they have gone through physicians training in school and they're like an MD as well. It just again, that's going to depend on your health insurance plan, and this is exactly why you should use the services of a licensed health insurance agent like myself, because we do the work for you and find those plans. So if you come to me and say I see only a naturopath, I'm going to be able to steer you in the best direction.

Speaker 2:

Okay. So again, it's a lot. And it's funny because we keep saying going down the rabbit hole or throwing you a curveball. Because when we started we said you know, when it comes to health insurance, there's a lot of curveballs, a lot of rabbit holes. And I agree, dan and I have stressed over this and I've said it before, over health care and what to do being on the road. We talk to people all the time that stress over it and you get on your computer and you try and research it and we're pretty intelligent people, the two of us I think we are, and I just want to close the computer and go eat a pint of ice cream because it's frustrating. So, oh my.

Speaker 3:

God and don't put your phone number into one of those sites, please. Unless it's like you will get calls for the rest of your life, 20 a day with. I mean it's awful.

Speaker 1:

I've got a system down. I put your phone number in. I'm going and doing the research.

Speaker 2:

So again it comes back to somebody that you could trust. You know we were introduced to you many months ago. We just met recently, but somebody you could trust that has your back. It's like you said, and I have to reemphasize this, you don't necessarily have a vested interest in one program over another. You're looking for the best program for Dan and I, which may be different for the guy standing outside next door who's traveling part time. So I really like that. I could just give it over to you and kind of give up on it and let you handle it.

Speaker 1:

You know there's a process to get on the RB Life podcast and I want to tell our listeners that when we talk about trust, we put people through the ringer. We talked to her and we just peppered her with questions and when we hung up, we looked at each other and said, wow, she's our kind of person, we can deal with her and if we can deal trust me, if we can deal with somebody, then any of you listeners out there can deal with them, because we're going to be the toughest customers that she's ever, ever, ever had.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, and for us it's about trust and you know I started by saying knowledgeable. You're certainly knowledgeable and I love what you said. If you can't answer the question, you're going to go find somebody who can. I also love that you said look, if we don't have a program that's right for you, we're going to steer you in the right direction and that's what's important for us.

Speaker 1:

It really, really is, and it's important for our listeners as well. So let's just take this opportunity to say now I want you to be realistic here for a second, because right now you're on a one to 10,000 basis, so 10,000 people are going to listen to this podcast. Do I want to tell those 10,000 people to reach out to you directly or reach out to your customer service number? How do we want to do that?

Speaker 3:

That's a great question. So I would say, reach out to my agency or the insurance benefits. Were a small agency, there's not too many agents and all of us are super knowledgeable. Everyone that I work with is fantastic and an absolute delight to interact with. They'll all take very good care of you and we're all contracted with just about the same insurance companies, so one of us isn't necessarily better than the other.

Speaker 2:

I would just say reaching out to the agency would would be best and how could you just tell our listeners and then I will also put it in the show notes? Is there a website, a phone number or both?

Speaker 3:

We have both. So our website is RV insurance benefits calm, and you can fill out a request for Information either there, or you can fill out a request for information from the RV insurance Exchange. That will get you to us as well. And then there are toll-free numbers on both of those websites that you can call in Anytime and you will get connected with an agent from my agency. So I can give you those numbers if you want, or people could just go to the websites, what works best.

Speaker 2:

I'll have them go to the websites and and or I'll fill them in. But again, you know you scared people when you said if you fill out some of those things You're gonna get calls like crazy. This is a different thing. So people can go to RV insurance benefits calm, fill out their information and they will get a call just from your company.

Speaker 3:

Exactly from one agent. We never share information. So at RV insurance benefits calm and the RV insurance exchange Information is not shared. It goes to me or one of the other agents and we're the only ones it would be contacting you.

Speaker 2:

Okay. And then if somebody says, hey, I'm no longer interested or I found my solution, I'm sure you're taking them off the list. I and I just say that, yeah, because we just brought up you don't want to just go to any old website and fill out your information. No, that is a no.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I want to warn people about that because that that's, it's rough when that happens to you. So I don't want to lose people, you know no requesting information from us, but I don't want anyone getting 500 calls a day from health insurance agents.

Speaker 2:

Nobody needs that. The absolute worst, no, nobody needs that.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I've still got questions. We've got the question of the week coming up. As a matter of fact, you know, After the break I'm gonna ask Carly some tough questions. I'm 64. I'm gonna be 65. I am starting to get calls and text messages and all kinds of stuff from every insurance company in the world. Medicare at 65. How does it work? We're gonna talk about that after the break. Where do I start? What's the very first step I should be taking when I'm at this 64 and a half? Do I have to go into their open enrollment? What is open? What the hell is open enrollment? Carly is gonna answer that question when we come back Right after this the most important part of your RV is the roof.

Speaker 4:

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Speaker 1:

National indoor RV centers. With over 1,000 motorhomes available across multiple locations, national indoor RV centers continues to provide an outstanding, hassle-free Motorhome ownership experience. National indoor is the number one new Mar dealer in the nation and also features brands like Integra, winnebago and much more. Visit NIRVCcom and become a part of the National Indoor RV Centers family. You know, on our way down there we stopped at National Indoor in the Dallas Texas store. That's their home store and we had a wonderful afternoon talking to Brett Davis, the owner of National Indoor RV Center. We learned more in those two hours About the RV industry and what's going on in the RV industry. Then we've learned in the last two years.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. And again, brett is one of those people. He owns six dealerships, six of these dealerships that do repair and storage, and we stayed for the day at the campground there at the Dallas facility, and Brett is just Another one of those people. That's just an amazing person. He's a real person. He cares about the RVers, he cares about the industry, and it was two hours of a lot of incredible information.

Speaker 1:

Okay, carly, I'm coming after you. I'm going into my 60 minutes mode questioning here. Medicare at 65. What changes what? What do I do? Do I get a regular plan from you or do I get it Just get a Medicare plan from you, or do I get a Medicare plan from the system or what? I'm so confused.

Speaker 3:

Tell me All right. So, first off, I'm not biting my nails about Medicare. I love talking about Medicare because it makes me feel like a freaking rock star, because everybody is as confused as you are. So, with Medicare, the first thing that you have to do is, possibly, sign up. If you are already taking social security or railroad retirement board benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare. If you are not, you're going to have to sign up, and you can do that through the social security website. And you're going to want to sign up for Medicare parts A and B If you are retired and not working and not covered under an employer group plan, like you, dan.

Speaker 3:

So you sign up for them. It's quick and easy online. You're gonna want to do that about three months prior to your 65th birth month, because your Medicare is going to go into effect on the first day of the month that you turn 65, unless you were born on the first of the month, in which case it goes into effect the month prior. So you just got to get signed up for A and B. Then you got to call me and we're gonna. We're gonna get through everything else, because there's some big Decisions that you have to make when you first get on Medicare that can have lasting consequences.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so what you're saying is three months before my birthday is June 4th, so March 1st. The first thing that happens is I pick up the phone and I say Carly, where are you? Because we're coming to pick you up and you move in with us for the next three months while we go through this process. All right, medicare at 65. We sign up on the social security site three months prior.

Speaker 2:

But if you already, if somebody already has social security, it's automatic, is what I heard her say. That's correct.

Speaker 3:

And I would like to clarify Medicare is very nuanced, so not everybody is going to have the same Medicare experience. Most people are entitled to premium free Medicare Part A and they just have to pay a premium for their Part B, which those are the two sort of original Medicare core components, but that is not true for every single person. There are certain people that have to pay premiums for Part A and certain special circumstances. So just understand, when you're listening to this, that what we're talking about is your normal lay person. Ok, not a special scenario.

Speaker 2:

OK. So again it takes some help from people like you to work through it to make sure you're getting all the benefits that are coming to you is what I'm hearing again.

Speaker 3:

That's correct and to make the right choices, to set you up when you first get on Medicare because, as I said before, there are lasting consequences from the decisions that you make when you first enroll in Medicare. If you miss enrolling in a certain part, you could potentially pay penalties for the rest of your life when you pick it up, or you could make a mistake and enroll in one plan and then one another later and not be eligible for it due to medical underwriting. So it's very important, in my opinion, to contact someone, get help.

Speaker 2:

That is incredibly important. Now, I have to say, Dan's a lot older than me. I'm not anywhere near Medicare. What happens to me?

Speaker 3:

So you get to stay on an under-65 plan, and I say this all the time. Our VERS are literally the only group of people that I know that are so excited to get older and turn 65 because they go on Medicare and the world is so much easier for someone traveling full time when they are on Medicare. It also tends to be more affordable. So you're stuck. You're stuck with me on under-65 insurance and Dan gets to move to Medicare and everything with Medicare is individual. So even when you turn 65, you'll have your own plan, your own number, things like that.

Speaker 2:

OK.

Speaker 1:

OK, Now I'm confused. What the hell is open enrollment? Because I got a text the other day from Aetna that said open enrollment has started. You have to sign up now, but you're telling me I don't.

Speaker 3:

No, so that's only going to pertain to certain people. So every year, what you're probably referring to is the annual election period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 every year, and that is a period of time during which Medicare beneficiaries who are on a Medicare Advantage or a standalone prescription drug plan, part D plan, can change their plans for the upcoming year. So not everybody has to make changes. If you just remain on your current plan, you'll get auto-reenrolled. But the thing is the formularies for what medications those plans cover can change on an annual basis. The doctors that are in network can change on an annual basis. So people that are enrolled in those plans should be reviewing them on an annual basis during that annual election period. If you're on a Medicare supplement policy which a lot of people that travel really like those because there's no network restrictions, no referrals required and no prior authorization required they do not have to change or shop around for their Medicare supplement policy during that time.

Speaker 2:

OK, so Medicare is the way to go. I can hear the excitement in your voice when you talk about it, especially for RVers. So I'm waiting for 65. I'm way off, but I can't wait. Now, open enrollment you explained open enrollment for Medicare, but is there an open enrollment period for people who are just starting out, let's say they're just starting into looking for new insurance? There are RVers, they're just starting out and they're looking at new insurance. Is that open enrollment applied to them as well or to me?

Speaker 3:

In terms of folks under 65 or folks that are about to turn 65?

Speaker 2:

So for under the under 60.

Speaker 3:

Oh, OK, yeah there's open enrollments for everything. We just call it all the same word. So for under 65, there is an open enrollment for the marketplace, the Affordable Care Act plans, and that one is going to run November 1 to January 15 in most states Actually, I correct myself, I believe it's January 16 this year because Martin Luther King Day is on the 15th Anyway. So that is going to be for anyone that's on a under 65 Affordable Care Act plan. They can make changes and choose a different plan during that period of time. If you're on a private health insurance plan, that does not apply to you. So again, this is all going to be dependent on your specific situation, what type of plan you're on.

Speaker 1:

OK, I want to make this very clear to the RV Life podcast listeners. Carly is mine. You don't get her. Ok, all right, we will be back with more right after this.

Speaker 2:

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Speaker 1:

OK, so we're talking about MotorHome Tires and you know you get so passionate about MotorHome Tires and we're going to see them this week. They're a great company. They'll be at the Tampa RV Show. They have the booth right next to RV Life Right.

Speaker 2:

OK, that's in two months, next week, or two months, whatever, I just don't want people out there to get confused. We're talking about the Tampa Super Show.

Speaker 1:

Talking about being confused, though. I'm just wondering if the last half hour 45 minutes hasn't made people more confused about all of this stuff. And guess what? Nana, nana, boo, boo, I got Carly, you don't.

Speaker 2:

OK, and the bottom line is and we knew this going into this topic, I think for a lot of people. I'm hoping there was clarity. Please go to our social media, Tell us if you have questions and tell us if this helped clear things up. Sometimes we have to tackle these more challenging topics, but it's nice, even if you feel confused, that you have a quick, easy, simple solution and that is in our mind. I don't know of other companies, but RV Insurance Benefit is certainly the company we're going to reach out to get the information we need.

Speaker 1:

Well, I'll tell you what my stress level was at eight or nine. It's now at a two or three, after talking to Carly about this stuff, because I started getting, I'm going to say about a week ago. I started getting all these text messages and emails and phone messages and, oh my God, Did you fill your name in on some form?

Speaker 2:

I think you might have.

Speaker 1:

No, Yep probably there.

Speaker 2:

It is no, they just lined you, they lined you when it comes to Medicare. Yes, yes. The biggest thing for me is go to somebody you trust, and a company that's trustworthy and certainly we know RV insurance benefits is a trustworthy company. So, if nothing else, people have a place to go talk to, cry, bed, all of that and get these stuff straightened out.

Speaker 1:

Now that sound means it's time for today's question of the week, which is brought to you by our friends over at Clear2O your RV water solution and their brand new product, fresh Tank. Your Fresh Water Tank cleaning solution eliminates bad taste and odors.

Speaker 2:

And it does it without bleach. I found out several months ago that when people often clean their Fresh Water Tanks Fresh Water Tank, where your water that you're using comes into the RV just to be clear but they use bleach. And not only do they use bleach, they put it in for something like eight or 10 hours, and I don't think I'm exaggerating. Now, I'm very sensitive to smells and tastes, which is kind of odd living in an RV.

Speaker 1:

You should talk to your doctor about that.

Speaker 2:

Yes, it's just a thing.

Speaker 1:

It's covered.

Speaker 2:

And so I do not want bleach in my tanks because I still cannot wrap my head around how is that rinsed out of there fully? I'm using my water to make my cappuccino. I don't want it messed with, but with Fresh Tank, that cleaning solution I'm just really excited about.

Speaker 1:

It was really really easy to do too, we just poured it in and left it in there for about an hour, I think it said Couple, hours, couple hours and we drove down the road a little bit to let it slush around, and then you just open up the bottom and let it drain out.

Speaker 2:

Right, it was easy the solutions. I'm not going to pretend to know what it was made of, what the products made of, but we spoke to the owner, Keith, and he is amazing and he used clean stuff in that to clean without the harmful chemicals.

Speaker 1:

Bottom line it looks like Windex. It's that same blue as Windex, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And sometimes they have to make those things colored so that you know like a kid doesn't drink it. I wonder if that's why I'm going to ask.

Speaker 1:

Keith, I don't know that. Blue is very appealing. I drink it.

Speaker 2:

Oh gosh, okay, I think it's gone all kinds of wrong today. Okay, how about we get to the question and you're going to handle it today?

Speaker 1:

You know, normally we get our question from our listeners on social media or we call them and we get them on tape, but today, no, no, no, no. My question is health insurance for RVers. You know, when we started RVing, we started out with a domicile of Nevada and then we looked at all these other states and people said no, don't do Texas, no, don't do Dakotas, no, don't do this. And this is why. So it's really, really confusing. So, carly, where do I start? What's the first step for our listeners out there? What is the first step that they need to take besides calling you on your 800 number?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean that would be the first step and I talked to a lot of people that are just starting out with their RV journey because they are not necessarily out of their sticks and bricks yet and they're trying to figure out this whole domicile thing. And a lot of people are only thinking about taxes and insurance when they select a domicile seat, but a really important thing to consider is health insurance. So to give us a call because we can help you either find a plan that's available in any one of those popular domicile states or steer you in the right direction and then just talking through your needs, figuring out what the best plan is for your specific circumstances, writing quotes and then getting enrolled is sort of the process.

Speaker 1:

Now, you said domicile and I'm looking at the screen print of it probably five times here. So I'm just going to give a quick plug out to escapees. We were just with the escapees people at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, had a great time. They're wonderful people. That is where we domicile through, or we got our domicile done through the escapees RV club. We're a member of the club, we've got our domicile there, we've got our mailing address through them and they really really have spent a lot of time and have a lot of information.

Speaker 1:

If you have questions about domicile, if you're not sure what to do, you really need to pick up the phone and talk to the escapees RV club. They have a whole department that is there just to help you with domicile and, believe it or not, there's more to domicile than just your health insurance. There's all kinds of other issues like taxes and how long you have to stay like like Nevada changed their laws where you have to own a sticks and bricks or rent a sticks and bricks if you want to have a driver's license in that state, and then South Dakota just put that nine month rule in, and Texas has that on the books to put the nine month rule in there too, so that's going to change. It's discrimination against RVers.

Speaker 3:

There you go.

Speaker 2:

Carly, you're right. And here's the thing about it shouldn't, it really shouldn't, and you know that is a rabbit hole we probably don't want to dive down into right now, but there it is. Now we're domiciled in Florida and an added benefit is Disney resident passes.

Speaker 1:

Disney resident passes.

Speaker 2:

yeah, but so what I'm hearing for us we happen to stumble upon what Carly is saying is one of the best states, which is Florida, but for people looking at domiciled, they might want to talk to somebody like Carly talk about health insurance before they get their domicile if they're just starting out is what I'm hearing here.

Speaker 1:

Now we're heading down to Tampa by way of Texas, we are going to shoot through the Carolinas to get you and we'll just be ready. Have a bag packed, baby, because you are going to come live with us for the next six months or so.

Speaker 3:

You better be ready to take on the dog and the horses.

Speaker 1:

I'll take the dog. I don't know about the. I mean I'd take the horses.

Speaker 2:

I take the horses, but I don't think that works in an RV. Dan has tried some crazy things. There are some RV parks that take horses and there are some RVs that carry horses just not ours. But, yeah, that would be awesome. You could go into every campground and just educate people on this. You know again a tough conversation that I think you helped make it light, you helped make it easier and you gave people an incredible direction, so I've got to thank you for that.

Speaker 3:

You are so welcome.

Speaker 1:

Really really has been a lot of information. You might want to go back and listen to this show a second time, but to do that you want to sign out first and then go back and don't just back up the timeline. You want to go out and come back in, so I get two listens out of it. So, anyway, you're listening to the RV Life Podcast. I'm Dan Hunt with my incredible wife, Patty Hunt. She's sitting right over there and we are going to say to you have a great rest of today.

Speaker 2:

And an even better day tomorrow.

Navigating Health Insurance for RVers
Understanding Health Insurance Options
Navigating Medicare at 65
RVers' Health Insurance Enrollment Options
Exploring RV Parks and Horse Education