Chronic illnesses, no matter what kind, require many more routine doctor visits than what a “healthy” person requires. Someone who lives in a house can just head over to see their doctor when they need those checkups or for when the illness rears up and causes pain or other symptoms. When the illness causes an emergency situation your insurance will step in and pay for the treatment anywhere in the nation. Unfortunately with “non-emergency” situations, most won’t cover visits outside of your network, which is usually in the state of residency. Full-time RVing with a chronic illness is possible, so don’t let it keep you from pursuing your adventurous dreams! Just make sure to hit the road armed with information and knowledge of how to obtain medical care for your chronic illness while away from home. When you don't have access to your doctor, try these great alternatives for on-the-road healthcare.
A free clinic is one that offers medical treatment for free or on a sliding scale depending on a patient's income. Generally these clinics will see patients for sick or injury visits as well as routine care for a chronic condition. Often the staff at free clinics is either made up of medical professionals in the community who volunteer their services, or the clinic has a full-time paid staff. Before you head off to your next destination, do some research and check to see if there is a clinic near where you'll be staying that you can visit. You can search for these clinics on the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics website.
Wouldn’t it be great to see or talk to a doctor right from the privacy of your RV? With Telemedicine, you can do this! Telemedicine allows you to connect with a physician via the Internet or a mobile app on your phone or mobile device when making a visit to your doctor back home isn't an option, such as when you're across the country in your RV. Through Telemedicine, you can choose a provider and most of them offer very affordable care. You can call in if you're generally not feeling well (flu, pain, injury, etc.) or if you are experiencing symptoms of your chronic illness. For example, a Crohn’s patient who is experiencing the all-too-familiar feeling of a flair-up can call in to discuss having a prescription called in to a nearby pharmacy. In addition, information (photos, test results, etc.) can be shared confidentially via the phone call, email, or text, so the physician has a better understanding of your personal complications. No more hours spent sitting in a waiting room, no more waiting for a doctor who is running behind, and no having to get out of bed when you’re not feeling well! Click here for more information on Telemedicine, such as how it works, plans available, and how to get started.
While there is generally no insurance that is accepted everywhere, you can find ones that operate in multiple states. This means that as long as you find a doctor who is in network in that state to see, you’ll be covered. A couple of larger insurance companies that have multi-state plans include Blue Cross Blue Shield and Humana. Head over to the HealthCare.gov site to see what kinds of plans are offered. Just be sure to read the plan thoroughly before selecting it. Just because it says “Multi-State” doesn’t necessarily mean it will offer coverage everywhere. Buyer beware!
If your dream is to buy an RV for sale or hitch up the one you already have and head out for full-time RVing fun, don’t let your chronic illness deter you! There are options for good healthcare on the road, making RVing possible even if you need to visit a doctor regularly. Check out these options and search for others online so that you're well informed and covered!
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