Health care seems to be the largest concerns keeping early retiree dreamers from pursuing their wanderlust to travel in RV’s. It would be great if one could simply walk into any medical facility and have all their medical needs taken care of while knowing they are receiving quality medical care. We are a long way from that in the United States so each of us must figure out the best medical insurance plan for our needs.
For those of us retirees fortunate enough to receive affordable insurance that is accepted at most medical care facilities, it is still a challenge finding quality medical care. The high cost of medical insurance does not necessarily guarantee that you will be able to receive the best standard of care while traveling on the road. We were very comfortable with the doctors and specialists at home in College Station so we needed to figure out how or where we'd receive care once we were traveling across the USA in our RV.
When we were due for our first yearly physical it happened we were in Florida. When I discovered there was a Mayo clinic in Jacksonville, I thought what a great place to try given their stellar reputation. We called to inquire about appointments and discovered that luckily our Blue Cross Insurance was more than welcome there. The big key in insurance coverage is whether the facility is an In Network Provider or an Out of Network Provider. In Network means you will spend a ton less money. The Mayo is In Network for us so all we pay is our 45 buck co-pay.
Out of Network is bad…for example while we were in Oregon we experienced some out of network charges for Sharon’s surgery for her broken wrist. Instead of a small co-pay plus our larger deductible, it cost us over $4,000 dollars out of pocket after insurance… a lot of money for people who are retired and don’t make any money…
We came to the Scottsdale area this week mostly because there is also a Mayo Clinic nearby and we were due again for our annual physicals. We continue to be impressed at how the Mayo efficiently performs way more tests than a typical physical. For example in one day I had 3 shots, blood work, urinalysis, a chest X-ray, an EEG and a stress test all sandwiched between appointments with the Doctor I was assigned to. It did take all day but by the end of the day the results were summarized to me by my doctor who also provided me with printed copies of results and clinical notes for me to keep. All that would never happen that quickly where we use to go back home in Texas…
The appointments we were scheduled allowed adequate time for lunch and we found that they have a fantastic interpretive nature trail on the clinic’s campus. This small loop trail may be one of the best interpretive trails I have hiked on and the pictures from todays blog are from that trail.
So for the last two days we each had our normal major medical checkups and once again we passed all the tests… Woooohoooo! Looks like we are good for another year of traveling around the great USA. There is yet another Mayo in Rochester Minnesota that we may need to visit for our next physicals….