Health Insurance Options If You Quit Your Job to go Backpacking

It may not be the most exciting topic, but I’ve been asked about health insurance so many times it is about time I made a video about it! I hope this video helps …


  1. If your taking 6 months off to hike then your maybe not making any money and the ACA just might be free but it might be hard to use out of state.

  2. Individual Mandate stops in 2019. If you do not have insurance in 2018 you will be penalized unless exempt. I didn't have coverage for part of 2017 and had to pay about $500. There are resources that can help you figure what your penalty would be.

  3. Hahah! I had great health care coverage from Kaiser for 125 dollars a month. Then that non American radicalized muslim became King and now I don't have any coverage, because they now want $500 month with a $2000 deductable. No biggie really, I use plants and herbs, tinctures to keep me healthy, better then the man made pharmacuetical, poison that cures one symptom yet creates many more, much more dangerous then the symptom you wanted to treat.

  4. Good information Dixie. I will be taking an unpaid leave of absence which I'm assuming also means no health insurance. I'm going to look into the World Nomad program before my thru hike in 2019 and probably go with them. Thanks!

  5. Quitting a job to hike is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of. A person should have a few priorities in life like working before just going for broke and risking what they have in life. Not real responsible!!!!!!!!!! I waited until I turned 50 then retired before I went on the AT.

  6. Are you doing the CDT 2018 or 2019? If it's '18 kuddos for maintaining this channel so well while planning a hike. Excited to see another what comes next. Good luck on the triple crown!

  7. Wow. As an European and an aspiring future AT thru-hiker, I never imagined that this issue would become…an issue! Thank you Dixie and as always, great video. Cant wait to see you become a "triple crowner" next year

  8. Scumbags just walk into a hospital, get treatment, and walk out with no insurance whatsoever. I often wonder why I pay for health insurance when I could just be a scumbag too.

  9. As a Canadian, I never hike in the US without travel medical insurance. Coverage for up to $2M usually costs me about $10 or less per day while I am out of the country for a 5ish day trip (better deals on longer trips ~ $200 for a year away). So easy now to just go online with my bank or insurance company and shop around for the best rate.

    I appreciate you not getting political (there is too much of that these days) and before I make a point let me say that the US is a great place full of great people and I love to visit, but, but but… the US needs to get it's head on straingt regarding medical insurance. It is so complicated and risky (as your video demonstrates the 'grey areas') so expensive, and so many people making money off of other's tragedies. First universal health care, then the metric system – I know you can do it!!! 🙂 Kilometers are so much shorter than miles, imagine the motivation on the trail!!!

  10. I did have insurance and while it was a bummer to have another bill while on trail, I’m glad that I did! Thankfully, I didn’t need it though! This is a good video because it’s a tough part of planning! Thanks for posting!! You do A LOT of research for your videos and we all appreciate it!!

  11. Been watching and enjoying your videos for awhile. Hiking primarily with my older boy through the Scouts. He came home today from school and said he met a YouTuber today. Then he tells me it was you! Awesome! He was very impressed. Thanks for meeting with them

  12. I’m a kid but I’m still watching this but the point is you came to my school today and showed us a presentation and it really inspired me when I get older I want to hike the Appalachian trail and other trails across the U.S

  13. If you ever find yourself in a doctors office during your thru hike be sure and get a price up front for what you are dealing with. I found myself in an emergency room visit to get tested for lyme, 2 hour visit which went through my insurance cost me $1100!!!! Check prices before committing to anything and stay away from emergency rooms unless it is an absolute emergency…a hard lesson learned.

  14. this is a great topic and not one covered, another topic I would love to see you cover is simply how to walk.,again not one covered much at all. Big steps on up hill verses side steps, little steps without causing injury, different terrain, that kind of stuff…for a beginner, is so important.

  15. I never even gave this topic any thought since I've only been out camping and hiking while covered by policy from work. However, once again you've brought up topic that should concern to all thru and long distance hikers. Although I'm retired and covered by Medicare and a Medicare Supplement, I'm going to stop in and speak to my agent before going on my section hike in April just to be on the save side! Once again, thanks for thinking about the whole community!

  16. You can purchase a hospital indemnity plan. It is supplemental insurance- available from companies like that one represented by a duck who has done yoga. It is private insurance so you would need to qualify for coverage by passing medical questions. They have many options to giving you cash reimbursement from doctors visits to hospital coverage. It does not count as creditable coverage to avoid any government penalties, and I would be sure to read any disclosures to see what the limitations are, but I would use this flexible option if not covered by an employer.

  17. you're asking or providing advice for the wrong question… The question should be… given the statistics of age and fitness levels what are the average incidents rates and average costs… For example I was working for a company in Sweden and while I was in country for 30 days I purchased a separate insurance policy because my US policy was not applicable. More specifically you do not need skydiving insurance if you're not skydiving. So if the injury or fatality rates are higher while hiking one trail or another you might want insurance in case you need a helicopter rescue.

  18. Great topic Dixie. I know this is just a "here are some things to look into" video, not hardcore information, but a couple of points:
    – Losing heath insurance because you quit your job IS a qualifying event for getting ACA coverage. – Also look into retroactive CORBA. Best loophole in insurance – coverage without paying for it.
    – Christian healthcare ministries coverage is dicey – they may not cover you just because they don't feel like it. Also they are pay and hope-to-get-reimbursed. will direct you to the state exchanges for those states that have them
    – At least in my state (NY) short term policies are illegal.
    – If your poor enough on paper, Medicaid is a possibility. Medicaid can be applied for year-round, and can even be retroactive to the day of your accident or illness. Getting it can be hard if you can't document your income, so file your taxes and have all your money and asset related paperwork in order.
    – Most importantly, not having real insurance (including CORBA or Medicaid) in general can lead a life altering or life threatening disaster. Traveller's insurance doesn't cover non-travel expenses, so if you get a cancer diagnosis, kidney failure, or the like you're 1)bankrupt and 2) may get delayed care. I know the young people think that will never happen to them, but it does. If you are poor enough that you don't care about bankruptcy, see Medicaid above.

  19. Fortunately, soon you will be able to purchase no frills, catastrophic insurance to handle any major medical problems. With the high costs, high deductible "Cover everything including the kitchen sink whether you want it or not" obamadontcare programs, a 60 year old man no longer has to pay for things he doesn't need like birth control, breast pumps, mental health, etc. Many walk in type clinics like Primacare also offer a pretty decent low cost package too.

  20. I'm about to retire and we don't know what we are going to do about insurance. We're actually considering living abroad. I cut my finger once and it cost $3,300. It wasn't even a bad cut. They cleaned it and super glued it. In the Philippines I had to go to the emergency room because I forgot a prescription and my heart was racing away. It cost me $10 including the medicine! I love this country with all my heart, but what the heck? Something is so wrong here. Medical cost just have been running away lately like the hospitals have a blank check.

  21. If your in college I think your health insurance is for 6 month at a time, so you'd have a 3 month window to hike unless you took online or self pace classes. Another option is an insurance exchange in your state, I'm guessing but I think if you make under $30000 you qualify for some type of financial aid this should be the last year for government funding of this entitlement program.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.