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Purple Haze 27-06-2015 14:23

Health Insurance
I see a lot of talk about health insurance and I am slowly planning on taking a 2 -3 year trip and this is one of my concerns also. It sounds like it is best just to pay for basic medical when outside of the U.S. since it is very cheap. Once back in the U.S. I would need some type of insurance. Looking at all the people who don't work and get free insurance I would think I would fall under the same category. I would not be working while cruising so shouldn't I qualify for free medical or Obama Care? Any suggestions.

wartrace 27-06-2015 14:32

Re: Health Insurance
I am also curious about how people handle health insurance. I know that most plans have a "network" and you are penalized for treatment outside of the "network". So if you are traveling how do you handle it? I wouldn't qualify for "free" or subsidized health care. It would be nice to find a plain vanilla catastrophic health insurance plan and use an hsa to cover the small stuff.

Stumble 27-06-2015 19:46

Re: Health Insurance
Traditional catastrophic plans have pretty much been eliminated. I think there are some rare circumstances they can be offered, but they aren't in compliance plans and I think were eliminated generally.

The other options...
1) Medicaid - pretty terrible coverage at best
2) pay full rate insurance
3) find a way to generate $12k in annual income (investment, salary, 401k withdraw) to qualify for the maximum subsidy under the ACA.
4) pay the fine for having no coverage and pay out of pocket for care. Or be out of the country for 330 days of the year.

sailorchic34 27-06-2015 20:06

Re: Health Insurance
If you earn less then $800 ish a month (for single person) you can apply for free healthcare under obamacare, through the state HHS folks. Yes it's medicare and not the best. But doctor visits, labs services etc are 100% covered, including prescriptions.

It's actually there for folks who make up to $13-$14K/year or so, but there is a share of cost, if you earn more then $600 a month. That share of cost thing can make it a very bad deal. Pretty much out of pocket. Think high deductible. it's not the same, but it can work the same way.

If your away from your home clinic area, you go to the nearest emergency room for treatment.

colemj 27-06-2015 21:06

Re: Health Insurance
I think it depends on which state you are a residence of. Not all states have expanded medicare, so one cannot take the advantage in those states that sailorchic describes.

Some states have insurance companies that have retained the essence of catastrophic insurance that Stumble says have been eliminated. For example, our previous FL BCBS catastrophic plan was retained for us for the better - for the same price, we now have better coverage and better terms.

It is still pretty much a catastrophic plan, which serves mostly to protect our financial assets should we become seriously ill (I still can't believe that is a sentence a citizen of the most rich and powerful country in the world would have to write). However, it now covers some basic health maintenance costs (flu shots, physicals, etc), while not allowing the insurance to drop us should we really have a health problem.

I know other people in other states that have both better terms and coverage than us, have extended medicare, and do not have something as draconian as "CYA catastrophic plans" like we have (no matter how meagerly our plan was extended under ACA).


Purple Haze 28-06-2015 04:10

Re: Health Insurance
Thanks for your responses I will have to keep investigating. I would like to retire at 59 1/2 and join the cruising crew and suck some money from 401k and than get SS at 62 if it's still there.

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