What Do Fulltime RV Families Do For Health Insurance?

What do you guys do for health insurance?

Oy, health care.

It was bad enough before Obamacare. It hasn’t gotten any easier after.

You may not want to do it, but.

It’s that time of year to look at your current health insurance policy. Is it going to fit your traveling lifestyle for the upcoming year?

6 Years Ago

After we decided to fulltime RV, I called my insurance agent and told him what we were planning to do.

He told me he’d look for a new policy that would be a better fit. I waited a couple of weeks before calling him back. I left more messages.

He never returned my call.

Last Year

Last fall I looked at our high-deductible healthcare policy. We’d been paying for it for years. I knew the benefits. I really just didn’t want to think about it.

But I had to.

I called the insurance agency again to see if they could find a better policy for me. While they at least had an answer this time, it wasn’t a great one.

They couldn’t offer anything else.

When it came time to renew I couldn’t stomach paying the bill.

I began looking closer at our policy. It was great for our time living in Michigan, but it really wasn’t a good fit while traveling the rest of the country.

Thanks Nina

Around this time Nina of Wheeling It wrote a blog post about their search for a new insurance plan that fit the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

In that post she listed traditional insurance options in addition to some non-insurance ministry healthcare plans.

Ministry healthshare plans are not insurance. They do not offer “coverage” or have a “deductible.” Instead the members directly contribute to the medical expenses of the healthshare community.

I decided I needed to look into this option a bit more.

Evaluating Options

Nina listed the four top non-insurance ministry healthshare providers:

I spent some time looking at them. I mostly used this comparison chart which covers the first three options.

Making a Choice

After much research I decided the Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) was the best fit for our family. Here’s why:

  • CHM offers different price levels - I selected the level that best met our needs.
  • The cost was half that of our high-deductible insurance policy.
  • Our monthly gift is automatically deposited in a Member Escrow Account, from which members’ medical expenses are paid (other plans have you send a check directly to the member in need).
  • The entrance criteria for CHM fit our lifestyle - other programs required a pastor’s verification that we were upstanding members of a church body (which we aren’t - read more about that).
  • CHM is accepted by Obamacare - so we aren’t dinged with penalties for non-coverage.

How Has It Worked?

We started with CHM on January 1st of 2016.

Two of us have had an unplanned doctor visit, but neither of those appointments cost above our chosen personal responsibility level.

One of us has a prescription that we have been able to pay for with the Health Savings Account (HSA) we had along with our previous insurance policy. I haven’t contributed any money to this HSA since we started with Christian Healthcare Ministries.

I may start adding a little bit each month for any medical expenses that we want to cover outside of the CHM plan.

How About You?

Are you wondering what the best healthcare option is for your traveling family in the upcoming year?

You may want to check out the most recent post on RVer Insurance Exchange - 2017 Guide to Health Plan Options for RVers.

If a Ministry Healthshare Plan may fit your family, check out the providers I listed above.


If you choose Christian Healthcare Ministries, tell them the Boyink family (member number -#242999) sent you. 

We’ll get a month for free after you are members for three months - and we’d appreciate that.

3 Comments What Do Fulltime RV Families Do For Health Insurance?

  1. Picture of Jenni Jenni November 06, 2016

    I would add that these are decent options for families traveling the world.  We have Samaritan Ministries and our experience using it back home has been good.  We have not needed it here in Egypt, but some of our expat friends have and they have had no issues.  I think my favorite aspect is when you have a medical problem you just pick your doctor and go in.  No worries about who is in your network or covered by your company.  And so many will give you a pretty hefty discount because you are a cash pay patient, which means they get paid today, not 3 months from now at about 30% of what they really charge.

  2. Picture of Kathy Kathy November 28, 2016

    Thanks for your thorough research.  This information is helpful for families regardless of their RV status.

    It’s great to have these options for young healthy adults and their families.

    I wish there were more affordable options for the majority of Americans who have chronic diseases.

    These groups act almost like older health insurance policies when people were refused coverage based on pre-existing illness.

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