New Year… New Healthcare Benefits


Packed with healthy fats and 10 grams of fiber an avocado is the new indulgence of choice.

So far 2014 has started off pretty well.  I’ve been following the doctor’s advice and have been working diligently to get the blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides under control.

One thing that has helped is a love for fresh avocados.  It’s become a “once a day” kind of habit.  But what about the 24 grams of fat?  Avocados contain healthy fats and the 10 grams of dietary fiber make a person feel satisfied.  I joke about how when that McCraving hits, I’ll take an avocado over a hamburger any day!

s-lineNote:  The following information has been provided for your entertainment.  I do not guarantee accuracy or completeness. It might even make people pi**ed off…

Healthier eating and medical intervention have helped a lot in recent days.  The healthcare recently received has been outstanding, despite the “doom and gloom” concern about the “Affordable Care Act” (a.k.a. “Obama Care”).  To date, I have not heard a negative word about Iowa’s implementation – mostly just people repeating things they’ve heard on talk shows and expressing fears.

I am on Iowa’s version of Obama Care – the “Iowa Wellness Plan” – after having been an  “IowaCare” patient (state insurance for low income people) for years.  The transition has been seamless from this patient’s perspective.  It is now possible able to access the same doctor in a couple of days, compared to waiting 3-4 months under the old arrangement.  Another big change is that one can go to a neighborhood pharmacy instead of being tied to the apothecary at the hospital in Iowa City!

There are concerns abCovered wagonout eligibility…  Like any government program, if one exceeds a certain amount of income, he/she may become ineligible.  In Iowa there are two different plans for different income levels.  As I understand the rules, a single person can make up to  $15,856 per year and still be covered under one of the plans.  The above figure works out to the income from a full-time minimum wage job.  If you work two full-time, low wage jobs then you will likely be ineligible.  Working the extra job, paying higher taxes, and footing the bill for insurance premiums could have you laboring for practically nothing!

Persons without long-term housing (homeless and the “houseless”) are able to get medical coverage in Iowa – you just need to list a PO Box on the application.  That works for vandwellers, too!  Buying health care used to beVan_Living In a a huge issue for those of us who like to travel and work “here and there” but not pay rent for an apartment.

So how will the changes affect me?  Very little; it’s all been good news!  Though there are still many factors to think about in the coming days (where to live, what to live in, what kind of work to do, caring for the cats, etc.), it is good to know that food, shelter (the van), and medical care will be available.

Is medical coverage a God-given right?  No.  But the care should make it possible to live a longer and fuller life.  I am grateful to the people who have fought for the insurance coverage for those who cannot afford it.  Hopefully the kinks in the system will be worked out and one day we’ll look back and wonder how the U.S. went for so long without medical care for its citizens.

So how do you feel about the potential for the Affordable Care Act to help people who live and travel in RVs, vans, etc?  All opinions are welcomed but I just ask that people be on-topic (please – no 11 page rants about the guy down the street who lost his insurance plan, etc.).  

Take care.  Today is a great day to do something healthy for yourself.  Have an avocado!

Bradford, the Van Trekker

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

4 Responses to New Year… New Healthcare Benefits

  1. tinycamper says:

    Brad, I qualified for Medicare last year, so I don’t have any personal experience with the new insurance laws.

    There will be winners and losers, as with every new program. I am just very that glad it worked out for you. 🙂

  2. Monu teena says:

    thanks for sharing the health benefits 🙂 dear ~

  3. Todd says:

    Hey Brad,

    I’m glad you have health insurance!

    It can be very frightening to not have health insurance. Just one visit to the ER can bankrupt most of us, or perhaps put us in debt for the rest of our lives.

    I am inspired by the steps you are taking to improve your health.

    Keep up the good work!


    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for the comment, Todd. You are right – one illness and it’s bankruptcy. A friend of mine is in his early twenties and refuses to apply – even for the no cost insurance through the state. He says he doesn’t need it. I was that way, too, until contracting pneumonia at that age. Oh well. The older we get the more we realize our mortality! Thanks for visiting. I hope the captcha festure is a little more friendly.