Medical Care and Health Care While RVing

When you take your RV to a new place, whether that be in the U.S. or internationally, you’re stepping out of the familiar environment of your hometown. This also means being further away from your primary care doctor and go-to health facilities in your local area. To prepare for a safe trip, you should be aware of local health care facilities, places to refill medication, and what your insurance coverage options are, especially if you have an ongoing health condition. To help you plan a healthy trip, here’s your guide to medical care and health care while RVing.


Insurance Coverage While Traveling

The first thing you should do when planning for a safe and healthy trip is to check with your health insurance carrier on your coverage. Some plans may not cover you internationally but others might. In addition to asking about overseas coverage, you should also find out the costs of visiting different types of health facilities and if they have a 24-hour hotline. 

If your plan has a hotline, you’ll be able to talk to a nurse or other medical expert for some guidance on how to handle any health concerns you may have. You can also ask them if you think it’s best to visit a local health facility or wait until you get home to handle it, depending on what it may be. You should also ask for a direct phone number so you can easily reach an expert in a situation where you may need some health advice. Taking the time to connect with a medical expert through your plan could save you lots of money, so it’s worth looking into.

If your health insurance plan doesn’t cover you abroad, then you can look into short-term health plans where you’ll be covered for the duration of your trip. You can also get travel medical insurance, which can cover the costs of unexpected events while traveling, such as health emergencies, trip cancellations, and medical evacuations.

You should also know that the Affordable Care Act requires all health insurance plans to cover emergency visits, whether or not your plan is in network. Review your specific insurance plan details to understand any potential limitations or exclusions.


Local Health Care Facilities 

You should research local health facilities in the areas you’re visiting so you know where you may be able to go if you need to address any health concerns. There are many different ways to schedule an appointment and get checked by a medical professional, whether that be virtually or in person. Ever since the 2020 pandemic, several doctor offices are now offering telehealth appointments. You should check with your primary care provider to see if this is an option for you.

Emergency departments at hospitals are typically expensive. Unless you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, there are other local health facilities you can go to that may be more affordable.

Many drug stores, such as CVS Pharmacy, now offer walk-in clinics. These clinics are a great option for small injuries or illnesses. No appointment is usually required, so you can typically walk right in. Your insurance will bill this as a doctor’s visit. Plus, it’s easy to get any prescription needed since you’ll already be at the drugstore. This type of health facility is a great option for travelers because they are located everywhere.

Urgent cares are another health facility that do not require appointments. Just like the emergency room, many are open for 24 hours, but these locations may save you money. Urgent cares are a great middle ground between walk-in clinics and emergency rooms because they have the equipment to handle more intense health concerns.

If you are experiencing any symptoms that you feel need immediate medical attention, then you should definitely go to the emergency room.


Filling Prescription Medications

If you take any prescription medications, then you should make sure that your doctor sends you enough medication to last for your trip, especially if you plan on being away for months. In addition, you should label each bottle or package of medication just in case you get questioned at all while going through security or over the border to another country in your RV. There are local drugstores in many places, so if you do your research beforehand, you can let your doctor know where they may need to send your prescription medications as well.


More Tips For Health Safety While Traveling

There are a few other steps you can take to keep yourself safe, healthy, and protected on your trip:

  • If you plan on traveling abroad, you should fill out the information page in your passport with emergency contact information. This information should be on someone you trust and who you would want authorities to call if you were in an emergency situation. 
  • Before traveling, you should find out what your blood type is. This will help in a situation where you may need a transfusion. 
  • Bring your health insurance card and a claim with you on your trip so you are prepared for any potential visits to a health facility.
  • If you have Medicare and are traveling internationally, consider calling AARP to obtain information on international coverage options. This is important because Medicare doesn’t cover patients, outside of the U.S.

When you’re planning a road trip, it’s tempting to only want to focus on the exciting parts of it, such as which campgrounds you and your family want to stay at and what hikes to do in certain areas. You should still plan for safety on the road, and that includes your wellness. At the end of the day, there is nothing more important than your health. We hope that this guide helps you plan a healthy, happy adventure for all of your future road trips.

See you on the road!

Comment 1

Bob Craddock on

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