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Post Info TOPIC: Medical and Dental Care while on the Road


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Medical and Dental Care while on the Road


I realize if we have any emergency issues on the road we can get medical or dental care. Yet I am concerned about routine medical checkups and dental cleanings? If we are going to be on the road full time, I am curious how other people take care of these needs. I guess we could always go back to our embark from location for those appointments but it seems like a waste of time and money when we could be exploring the vast unknown out there.



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Many of us have a reason, most often family, to go back to a particular area at least once a year. That is when we schedule medical, dental and vet appointments.
But, we have met fulltimers who search their health insurance online resources to find medical care where they are annually. Many just get teeth cleanings where ever they are and only go back to a true dentist every few years when they are back in their old stomping grounds. Mostly this is to avoid X-rays for every new dentist.

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For our first 2 years we took care of the annual medical / dental "stuff" when we returned to our previous area of residence each summer. Since we plan to continue to return each summer, that's easy enough to deal with, although it can make for a really hectic time if we try to squeeze in all the visits in a short amount of time.

So, to decrease the chaos we're slowly changing some of that. For dental we've been searching out dentists in AZ for the cleanings we've needed in the winter and have now found one we like in Tucson. Since we're in Tucson at least twice each winter for art shows, that was an easy change and now that hubby needs 4 periodontal cleanings a year, we'll be looking for a new dentist in the Sacramento area since we're there in both the spring and fall. At that point I'm seriously considering making that my primary dentist, again, to reduce the chaos of too many visits in too short of a time when we're back in our old home base.

We didn't like the eye doctor we had in Seattle so we found one in the Sacramento area that we now see annually.

For us it really hasn't been a big deal, we've actually only had one trip to Urgent Care in 2.5 years due to my reaction to a bee sting that infected my finger. Other than that it's all been routine.

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Interested in Dental. For the past 7-8 years have taken advantage of new patient specials ($39-$79 for X-rays, inspection and Cleaning). I always felt bad as I knew I was not likely to return and the 20+ x-rays, dental evaluation and 45 min cleaning was likely worth more than I paid. This year however I notice that the 2 dentists I visited for the $49 inspection and cleaning told me that I needed a $1500 cleaning. my regular dentist advised that I did not need that. The 2 I've seen this winter (1 in NV and 1 in CA) would not provide any cleaning for less than $1500. Is this a new strategy to provide income to the dental practice? I wouldn't mind paying a fair price for a regular cleaning but so far have been unable to find any practice that will provide that....they all say x-rays and complete evaluation first (I've had 2 already) then they will see about cleaning.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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There have been many discussions about having dental work done in Mexico. If your travel plans include being in a border state like Arizona/Texas than perhaps that can be the best time to have your dental work done.

We spend our winters in Mazatlán, Mexico and have found the dental work here to be great. A cleaning (by the dentist, not a hygienist) is $30.00. My last filling was under $50.00. My wife and brother have had crowns done for $375.00 each.

Right now the value of the American dollar is at an all time high, making it even cheaper. 18.4 pesos to the dollar.

Because we spend six months in Mexico we have established our doctors here. My cardiologist charges less for an appointment than my co-pay in the states.

I know that this information won't apply to most. But because we are all mobile we can at times choose where we obtain our medical, prescription and dental treatments and services.

This can be a strategy to kept annual costs to a minimum.

It's also a nice sunny place to spend the winter.

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Russ & Terri Ranger

Travel since July 2013

5 months - Winters in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months - Wandering the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40' PDT Motorhome

1 month - International Travel -19 countries, so far

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Since we spend the winter in. AZ, we moved our medical care to physicians in the Mesa area. We had previously started to see a dentist who offered a discount for those who stayed in RV parks close to his practice. We always get a small discount plus 10% discount for paying in cash/check instead of credit cards. The dentist is very nice, gives us options and understands that we really aren't interested in cosmetic work, just keeping our teeth.

Every physician we've used has been welcoming, are framiliar with RVers and snowbirds and happy to have us.

Barb

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A cleaning (by the dentist, not a hygienist)!!!! now really what difference does it make? either they know about cleaning or they don't
and your in mexico so both are a crap shoot that far down south

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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ticat900,

We usually try to be nice and respectful in our comments on this forum. I believe that there are many more years of school and training that a dentist has gone through. I was only saying that a dentist does our cleanings.

I might be wrong but several hundred thousand Americans and Canadians seem to live here in Mexico each winter and they might disagree with your "crap shoot" comment. Is this comment from personal experience you've had or is it just an opinion?

Being 750 miles South of the borders does not seem to lessen the experience and training the doctors have here. As a matter of fact many people travel to Mazatlán from the US or Canada to have surgeries preformed. This last year they built a new hospital in our neighborhood to serve the expat community.

Life is good in sunny Mexico, you should try it.

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Russ & Terri Ranger

Travel since July 2013

5 months - Winters in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months - Wandering the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40' PDT Motorhome

1 month - International Travel -19 countries, so far

http://grandbanksruss.blogspot.com



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We ran into all kinds of issues with dentists in smaller towns not taking new patients so now use Aspen which has a network. Not crazy about the sales pressure there, but I do like having my info in their computer system wherever I go and their extended hours and ease of making appointments.

Doctors visits are tough. I love my primary care doctor but have no family to return to in New Hampshire plus limited in when I can go there to the summer. Haven't establish a regular winter spot yet, although if/when I do it would definitely make sense to find a new PCP there. That fully we have had only one urgent care visit in the last year and there actually was one where we stayed. If you tend to stay in more remote areas, all of these things are definitely an issue.

Trace

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks everyone for all of the great feedback and ideas. It IS doable... and that is what I was hoping for!



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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We get and keep all our medical records with us. We are full time. We use Liberty Health Share and we are not limited to any state or any doctor. Works great for us.

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2003 Teton Grand Freedon  2006 Mobile Suites 32TK3 SOLD     2006 Freightliner Century 120 with Detroit 14L singled, ultrashift,  hauling a 2016 Smart Passion



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Glen,

Thank you, keeping our medical records with us is important and I didn't think about that. My husband has had several issues over the years so that will be even more important. Thanks for the tip!

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