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Old 02-02-2009, 11:34 AM   #1
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My wife and I are anxiously looking forward to her retirement so we can commence our plan to become full timers. It's no secret that as we get older, medical problems rear their ugly heads and we're no exception. A few problems that require periodic medical checkups every 3 months or so are now affecting both of us. My wife asked me how other full timers handled their medical and dental care issues, as well as getting prescriptions filled and delivered, when they were far away from the physicians, etc. they had when being stationary. I have a few ideas about this issue but I found that my answer was "I really don't know!"

However, I told her I knew where to go to ask for advice from people who must confront this issue on a regular basis. So here I am, asking for advice from you folks who are out there on a full time basis. I'm looking forward to any responses.
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:57 PM   #2
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My wife and I are blessed with fairly good health.

We have no dental or vision coverage, but we are blessed with employer-subsidized health insurance until we are both eligible for Medicare. Our health insurance is with a national PPO, so we have had no trouble locating doctors, medical labs, etc. that accept our insurance as we travel on the few instances when we have needed them. Of course, traditional Medicare is recognized nationwide, so we'll probably we should be fine with that (possibly with Medigap coverage) when the time comes.

Being able to travel can sometimes be an advantage for health care. You can go to where the best doctors are for a specific problem. Last year my wife had knee surgery while we were in Florida. She went to a medical practice that specialized in knee and hip replacement and things went very well.

We go back to our home town at least once a year and make annual visits to the doctors and the dentist. We are also blessed that our doctors understand (and maybe even envy) our nomadic lifestyle, so they have been fairly cooperative. We can call in for prescription refills. We get low-cost, generic prescriptions filled at WalMart. They just call the pharmacy where we had it filled the last time and transfer the prescription to their store. Other prescriptions are filled at the mail-order pharmacy through our health insurance. It goes to our mail forwarding service and arrives the next time we have mail forwarded. We just need to stay on top of things so we don't run too low.

Everyone needs to cope with health care in a way that's best for their particular situation. If you require periodic checkups as you say, you may need to go back to your current doctors. On the other hand, your current doctors may help you find good places to go that might be along your travel route. Just make sure they accept your insurance. You may be able to find several places in different areas of the country and plan your stops accordingly.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:13 PM   #3
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The folks west of the Mississippi , is any one using Kaiser Permanente ? I was wonder what you’re feelings are with the Doctors there? Book2
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:07 AM   #4
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We have no former employer benefits, but were (and are) in excellent health. So, being well under the age for Medicare, we started out with a Blue Cross medical and dental plan with no drug coverage.

It was the high deductible type and it has worked out okay on the medical side. Our annual medical bills are far less than the difference in cost between this plan and one with a much lower deductible. The dental plan was a joke however. Unfortunately I hadn't looked at the wife's teeth when I married her some 40 years ago, teenage love does that to you, and with all her dental problems she felt it was really important to have dental coverage.

After the first $1000 dentist bill which the plan didn't cover, we decided to use Mexican dental coverage. Since we tend to winter near the border it has worked great. She just had to get over that first fear of using a Mexican dentist, and now she has no problem in using them.

As always, each of us has a unique situation and perspective, so you need to evaluate as many options as you can find, use the one that suits your situation the best, and don't be afraid to change if it's not working for you.
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:06 AM   #5
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Paz and Bob... Thanks for the input as well as the response. A lot (but not all) of what you wrote followed the line of our previous discussion. I'm looking forward to showing my wife the responses, as I'm sure that she'll feel reassured when she sees how other folks handle this concern.

Rich
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by accidental_tourist:
My wife and I are anxiously looking forward to her retirement so we can commence our plan to become full timers. It's no secret that as we get older, medical problems rear their ugly heads and we're no exception. A few problems that require periodic medical checkups every 3 months or so are now affecting both of us. My wife asked me how other full timers handled their medical and dental care issues, as well as getting prescriptions filled and delivered, when they were far away from the physicians, etc. they had when being stationary. I have a few ideas about this issue but I found that my answer was "I really don't know!"

However, I told her I knew where to go to ask for advice from people who must confront this issue on a regular basis. So here I am, asking for advice from you folks who are out there on a full time basis. I'm looking forward to any responses.


Here is how we sorta handle things. The wife also has medical issues which require 3 month follow ups and the doc is pretty tuff on letting it go much longer than four months for blood work and prescriptions she writes for her. Anyways we just always plan our travels around this issue to be back in TX where her reg doctor is between the three and fourth month period ( generally 3 times a year ) and we work our dental appts in during these stays.

My medical plan is from my employer before I retired, but have used it in different locations on two different occasions.

Prescription meds. we have the mail order for the 90 days supply and they are sent to our TX addy and the mail forward to where we give instructions.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:47 AM   #7
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I haven't read all the former posts so I apologise if this is repetitive. . . .

Before we embarked on our fulltime lifestyle we obtained copies of our medical/dental records and keep them in the basement of our coach in hanging folders. My file is pretty thick. My wife's is barely visable.

We return to Gainesville, FL each winter where I make the obligatory visit to the Internist, Cardiologist and Dentist.

While in TN last summer I went through a prostate biopsy (negative findings) and began another medication (for enlarged prostate). We presented the Urologist with my medical file for his review, which included several years of blood tests with PSA levels.

We've had our teeth cleaned and examined on Long Island, Sevierville, TN as well as Gainesville. We travel with dental records AND x-rays.

We are pre-Medicare. She has BCBS-FL individual coverage. I'm still self-employed (in addition to workcamping) and maintain a 1-life group insurance plan from BCBS-FL.

We chose CVS (www.cvs.com )for all my meds (you wouldn't believe how many I take!). There's a CVS almost everywhere plus, I can reorder online. The scripts are easily transferred between pharmacies. The exception, however, is NY where NEW prescriptions are required. So, when my Dr. writes a new year's worth of presecriptions he provides me with 2 sets of originals, in case we travel to a state that requires originals.

We chose St. Brenden's Isle In Orange Park, Florida (www.boatmail.com)as our mail forwarding service. Orange Park is now our permenent address. We even vote there - absentee.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:27 AM   #8
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Crudeman and Digital Boy... thanks for the input. There's a lot of common things in the reply posts, but I think we've picked up something "new" in every reply. Once again, Thanks!

Rich
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