Five Steps to Avoid a Healthcare Crisis
Just like you, sometimes life does not function smoothly for us! Yes, we love Driving & Thriving but there are bumps in the road and challenges to overcome. Keith, Champlin, Piper (our 8-year-old niece), and I were enjoying a 12-day mellow summer vacation and that all came to a screeching halt last week.
Keith had been experiencing some vision trouble for a few days, we had plans to see an eye doctor once we dropped our niece off on the 12th. We called our eye doctor in hopes of scheduling an appointment once we returned to the front range. The doctor was alarmed by Keith’s symptoms of 95% occluded vision, and the office promptly informed us he needed to see someone ASAP!
When you travel full time, accessing the right health care according to your insurance limitations/benefits proves challenging. You do not have a regular doctor to see wherever you wander, so alternate plans need to be developed. Actually, it is completely unique and requires research, persistence, and the utmost patience…now for more eye drama!
We talked to three different doctors’ offices and saw two doctors in two different cities before seeing the qualified doctor for the right treatment. Surgery was needed immediately by the only specialist within 250 miles. To make matters worse, we discovered that the doctor’s facility was not in our insurance network. Talk about horror! Immediately, I had visions of ridiculous out-of-network pricing, which is basically retail cost. It was surgery and surgery is expensive.
Keith and I sat in the office with zero to no options, and the last thing we wanted to do was to leave Keith without eyesight. If he did not have the surgery, Keith would never recover vision in his left eye…so what next?
Using healthcare wisely requires you to be a smart shopper and to make good choices. Yes, medical care is a service and you have the right to understand and know what you are paying for at all times. I know that is not what you are used to hearing, but you do have the right to asks questions and get the answers you need and deserve as You are paying for these services. You don’t buy groceries, get your oil changed, or buy your house without knowing the exact costs, right? Heck no!
It’s fascinating because it is rather easy for many of us take for granted the simple task of going to the doctor. We are all used to visiting our local healthcare provider, paying the appropriate copay, and then maybe a co-insurance difference to be settled later. So, what do you do when your home is the open road and you cannot access your benefits like you did when you lived in one place?
1. GET THE RIGHT INSURANCE: Each person’s health and insurance needs are unique to that individual so you need a professional that understands your health and your lifestyle. We found our insurance through our membership with the Escapees, but I have included our agent’s information here for you to use right away. Portia LaVigne has been the key to our success with our health insurance needs, and I recommend her all the time! If you are using someone who does not manage health insurance for full time RVers, you are likely paying too much or you do not have the right insurance. Portia will help you find the exact right product for you and your family.
2. ASK FOR A DISCOUNT-If you cannot access in-network benefits, guess what? Most doctor’s offices have a policy in place for people who are out-of-network or agree to pay at time-of-service and most time-of-service payments allow for a down payment with a payment plan. Very nice!
3. BE PERSISTENT: If the doctor’s office says, we do not know exactly how much it will be, do not give up. You can get the office to commit to an amount ahead of the service so you know how to plan your finances. Getting this commitment helps ensure you do not receive ridiculous charges after the services are rendered. Remember it is your health, your body, and your choices.
4. FOLLOW A HEALTH/WELLNESS REGIMIN: Our family has always tried to be as healthy as possible. We take vitamins, eat well, and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sounds easy, right? Well, no it is not, and this is something we did not truly understand until we started using Young Living essential oils and the Young Living product line last year.
In order to be as healthy as possible, you need to be proactive and create a wellness plan that will help support your body so you do not need to seek medical attention as often. I’m not talking about curing diseases or treating chronic conditions. I have Multiple Sclerosis and that is not going away but since starting my wellness journey with Young Living, I do not get sick (colds, other infections, etc.), and Keith has lost 34 pounds! We are healthier because our family is proactive, and we have phenomenal products that support our bodies. Good health is about good choices, good habits, and high-quality wellness products. Keith and I thought we had all of those elements, but adding Young Living to our lives has proved a difference maker. Young Living has been amazing, and YOU deserve the best too.
5. GO WITH THE FLOW: Planning and preparing for your healthcare ahead of time will help you tremendously, but you will still encounter stress when the unexpected occurs. Remember to take a deep breath and relax because you will get through the unplanned situations. As always, if you need a friend, we are here to help and if we do not know the answer, in most situations, we will know who to go ask to get you help!
As for Keith’s eye, we negotiated the terms of his eye surgery, and his recovery is going quite well. He is following doctor’s orders, using his essential oils to support his body, and we are spending some extra time in western Colorado while he recovers.
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