The Affordable Care Act will change American life. It is that rarest of programs, one that disproportionately benefits the middle class and working poor. It will comfort those most at risk – cancer survivors and heart patients – as they will have access to affordable treatment, if and as needed. And it will make early retirement much more appealing by disconnecting the workplace from medical care.
For purposes of Obamacare there are two kinds of full-time RV’ers: those under 65, and those on Medicare. Medicare will remain unchanged. If you and yours are on it, you may stop reading here.
For those who are not yet Medicare eligible, you owe it to yourself to learn as much about the Affordable Care Act as possible. Beginning October 1, 2013, all kinds of information will become available on the internet, in person, or over the telephone. You face many choices that determine your cost, your coverage, and where you can receive medical treatment. Among them:
Which state’s program should I choose? (Many of us ‘reside’ in No Income Tax states, but spend more time, or work, or own a home in other states. It may be possible to enroll in a more favorable state than one’s tax home. States hostile to Obamacare could be very attractive as their citizens will be offered a Federally chosen plan.)
What level of coverage – bronze, silver, gold, or platinum – makes sense for me? (The regulations will require each insurer to classify their policies as one of those, for comparison and subsidy purposes.)
My chosen policy is effective where? (There is a four year phase-in period before multi-state insurance is required to be accepted in all 50 states.)
After subsidies, what will my insurance cost me? (If your primary income source is some combination of Social Security, a private pension, work camping jobs, and your savings/IRA, you are very likely to get a reduced rate on your insurance.)
I’m middle class; I won’t get no subsidy. (When you worked full-time you was middle class, Jim. Now that you RV full-time, you’re living on less and enjoying life more. Let’s say you and your spouse collect $30,000 annually in SS, pensions, and IRA withdrawals. The most you will pay for a Silver plan is $150 a month. That’s for the two of you, not each.)
Over the next few days I’m going to research and write on those questions. I will learn a lot, and maybe you’ll learn enough to want to know more.