Nomads and full-time RVers have a unique lifestyle that requires unique health insurance needs. Many health insurance plans only cover providers and care in a certain region or country, while nomads and RVers need coverage over many geographic areas. Some of the best options include Fixed-Benefit Insurance, Short Term Health Insurance, Healthcare Sharing Ministry Plans, Internet-Based Healthcare, and Travel Health Insurance.
One benefit to being a Mira member is the option to receive care all across the United States. For $45 per month, members get affordable urgent care visits, up to 80% off over-the-counter prescription prices, and same-day lab tests for when you’re on the go. Sign up today to get your coverage on the go.
The Best Health Insurance for Nomads and RVers
Several types of insurance may be beneficial for those who live a nomadic lifestyle. Some plan options may include:
- Fixed-Benefit Insurance
- Short Term Health Insurance
- Healthcare Sharing Ministry Plans
- Internet-Based Healthcare
- Travel Health Insurance
Fixed-benefit insurance (often called fixed-indemnity insurance) charges a set amount per medical charge. This type of plan may limit the type of care you can receive because the care benefits are preselected, and the insurance will not cover the other care needs.
Different plans will offer various preselected benefits, and you can shop and browse multiple plans to find one that works best for your lifestyle. While this plan is often used supplementally, it can be used by itself with a risk. Some insurance providers recommend using a health savings account (HSA) if a fixed-benefit plan is your sole coverage.
Short Term Health Insurance
Short-term health insurance is an option for nomads or full-time RVers who are only temporarily planning on living on the go. Short-term plans are usually purchased for anywhere between one month and a year and are usually renewable for 36 months.
Short-term plans do not cover pre-existing conditions and do not cover fetal or maternal care. To qualify for short-term benefits, you must meet certain medical criteria, not qualify for Medicare, and be a legal U.S. citizen or resident.
Healthcare Sharing Ministry Plans
Healthcare sharing ministry plans are another option for nomads or full-time RVers. Healthcare sharing programs work where all individuals on the plan pool their funding and collectively pay for all medical bills as needed. This occurs after the plan’s deductible is met.
Many of these programs are faith-based and require an affirmation of faith in becoming a member. There may be some programs that are not faith-based but are less common.
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Internet-based healthcare is a program that is used to provide remote medical care via telemedicine. These plans are usually used in the short term or as a supplement for other more comprehensive health insurance.
One benefit of internet-based care is that you do not have to visit the office. The need to call to make an appointment is obsolete because there is no primary care provider but rather a group of consulting physicians.
Travel Health Insurance
Travel health insurance is a specialized type of coverage for individuals who travel internationally and want coverage that doesn’t require residency. Nomad Insurance through SafeWing can be purchased from overseas and still includes coverage when you travel home.
The plan also includes free coverage for children under 10 years of age - one per parent. The plan can be purchased for $40 per 28 days and renewed automatically until a set cancellation date.
Why Nomads and RVers Need Health Coverage
Nomads and full-time RVers take to the road for many different reasons. Some nomads are forced to live out of their cars or RVs because they are low income, and living a nomadic lifestyle is an affordable option. In this scenario, the low-income nomad needs an affordable option to cover basic healthcare.
Some nomads choose to live in RVs to travel and spend money on experiences rather than a material lifestyle. These nomads may be seeking more adventurous activities that involve physical risk. In this scenario, nomads need a plan that covers basic and urgent care needs where providers are available across the country.
In any case, nomads and full-time RVers can be at higher risk for health conditions and need to be covered under an affordable health insurance plan.
What to Look for in Health Insurance as a Nomad or RVer
Depending on the nomad or full-time RVer you are, you may require different health insurance needs. For most nomads and RVers, traditional health insurance plans are not an option. Employee-sponsored plans may be an option for some but are rarely affordable for nomads.
When looking for a health insurance plan to suit a nomadic lifestyle, some of the most important features of the plan should include:
- Affordability - low deductible, low copay/coinsurance, low monthly premiums
- Not location specific
- Not requiring local (or national) residency
- Primary and emergency care coverage
Each plan varies dramatically between provider and plan type to adjust the benefits to your needs. Some other benefits many people living a nomadic lifestyle may want to consider include:
- Variable payment plans (i.e., having a monthly payment option for shorter-term nomads)
- No cancellation fees
- Choice of doctors and hospitals to seek care from
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Health Insurance for Nomads and RVers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Considering what options you can purchase to cover your medical needs while being nomadic or a full-time RVer. Here we highlight some more considerations for shopping nomad health insurance.
Where can I go if I have trouble finding a good insurance plan?
The RVer Insurance Exchange is a group of insurance professionals specializing in finding nomadic insurance programs for their clients. When consulting them, you should prepare what you would need to be covered in terms of medical needs and your income levels, and how you plan to travel.
This group even offers its own Internet-Based Healthcare program and an exclusive group health insurance program for self-employed nomads and full-time RVers.
Do nomad plans meet the criteria required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
Unfortunately, most plans that would best meet the lifestyle of nomads or full-time RVers do not meet the Minimum Essential Coverage outlined under the ACA. Fixed-indemnity insurance, short-term plans, healthcare sharing ministries, internet-based care, and travel health insurance all do not meet the requirements of the ACA.
If you do not have insurance or your purchased plan does not meet the Minimum Essential Coverage requirements, you will be subject to paying a tax penalty.
Are Healthcare Marketplace plans a good option for nomads and full-time RVers?
Healthcare marketplace plans through the ACA are theoretically a good option for coverage in terms of benefits. Still, the cost of these plans is often too expensive for the budget of an individual living a nomadic lifestyle. Most of the time, money is better spent on other essential needs or the travel experience.
Finding the best health insurance option that is affordable and versatile for your nomadic needs is essential for safe travel. Having health coverage can save you money in the long term and free up more money for other essential needs and travel amenities.
Mira offers an affordable option with basic health benefits that protect your health for your nomadic lifestyle within the U.S. A care membership provides discounts on medical services for $45 per month. This includes $99 urgent care visits, 80% off prescriptions, and same-day lab tests. Sign up today and start your nomadic lifestyle with health coverage and ease of mind
Gavin is a 4th Year student at the University of Virginia, studying Medical Anthropology, Ethics, & Care as well as Environmental Science. He is passionate about providing healthcare resources and proper education in order to promote life and health for all.