Healthcare insurance can be a frustrating and confusing aspect of life to navigate as a travel nurse. Especially since the federal mandate to have insurance went into effect, the situation has become increasingly complex.
Did Trump lift the federal mandate on health insurance? Is it still in effect? During this time of uncertainty in the realms of healthcare insurance, as a travel nurse, you need to be sure to do your homework and research before accepting a travel nursing assignment.
Travel nursing staffing agencies offer different types of insurance while you are on assignment. However, these insurance plans vary from one company to the next, and sometimes, from one assignment to the next. While searching for the right nurse staffing agency, if you are someone that requires much use of health insurance, be sure you carefully consider the following:
- When will the health insurance begin? Some companies offer healthcare insurance on day one of the assignment. Others require you to complete one month of work at a minimum of 36 hours per week. Furthermore, you will find some companies have healthcare insurance policies start at the first of the month.
- When does the healthcare insurance end? It’s typical for travel nursing companies to end the healthcare coverage when the assignment ends. Or, it could last until the end of the month in which your assignment ends. Furthermore, other companies may have policies that end one or two weeks after the assignment is over.
- Will your travel nursing health insurance follow you to your next assignment? Depending on the insurance policy offered, your healthcare insurance might be able to follow you to another travel nursing company or you might have to completely change insurance plans with a new travel nursing assignment.
- Will you be eligible for COBRA after an assignment? If so, will you have to pay a higher monthly premium for this benefit?
- Government plans might be an option, but at the current time, this choice is a bit unstable.
When scouting travel nursing agencies, be sure to get answers about these considerations so that you have a solid understanding of how their particular healthcare coverage for travel nurses work. Plan to end and start assignments accordingly so that you have the healthcare insurance you need.
Travel nurses are faced with a barrage of options when it comes to healthcare insurance, so be sure that you choose a good travel nurse recruiter who will take the time to fully explore all your options.
Consider Choosing a Personal Health Insurance Policy
Perhaps you don’t want to have to change healthcare policies from one assignment to the next. Maybe you want more flexibility when it comes to deciding which travel nursing agency to work with. Or it might be that you require extensive healthcare and need a very robust policy to cover all your needs. For whatever reason, many nurses find that the insurance provided by the travel nursing agency isn’t the best option for them, so they choose to buy a personal healthcare policy instead. If this is the case, please keep the following considerations in mind about buying your own healthcare insurance as a travel nurse:
- Some personal insurance policies provide only very basic insurance. Be sure you read the fine print and details carefully.
- It may cost a lot to add a spouse or child. Be sure to look at the details of a potential insurance policy.
- Each company has its own requirements and waiting periods.
- Find out if the company has any specifications when it comes to waiting periods. If you want to take any time off the insurance policy in between assignments, find out if you are able to.
- Not all companies are created equal. Find out if the insurance provider will be able to cover you if move across the country from one assignment to the next. You will find that many insurance providers have locations in all 50 states.
Other Travel Nurse Healthcare Insurance Considerations and Options
- There are some travel nursing agencies that will offer reimbursement if you provide your own healthcare insurance. When speaking with different travel nursing agencies, ask them if this is a potential benefit and how much the reimbursement would be.
- Insurance costs are on the rise. Co-pays can be prohibitive. Be thorough in your research when selecting what type of healthcare insurance as a travel nurse with your situation and your family.
- If you are the only one that needs insurance, the agency-provided plans are often the best option.
- If you are going to be taking on multiple travel nursing assignments, you might want to stick with one agency and maintain your healthcare insurance policy to keep things simple.
- No matter which type of insurance plan you choose, be sure you review what is covered and what’s not covered.
- You might want to look into a medical cost-sharing program. There are many travel nurses who like this option, and most of them are recognized as acceptable coverages to meet the federal mandate. This type of policy helps to keep your costs down. Every program has its own stipulations for membership, so investigate where you might fit in.
Questions to Ask Yourself About the Right Travel Nursing Insurance for You
Every individual or family has their own specific needs that should be taken into consideration when exploring travel nursing insurance options. What may work well for one travel nurse might not really be an option for the next. Ask a lot of questions when speaking with a travel nursing agency or a personal healthcare insurance provider. Also, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you need major medical or extensive coverage?
- Is it only you who will be on the policy or do you need to cover a spouse and/or dependents?
- Are you going to work with just one travel nursing agency or do you plan on switching companies with each assignment?
Are You Ready to Look at Travel Nursing Assignments?
Talk with an experienced staffing specialist or travel nursing recruiter today. We would be happy to take our time and go through some of our available travel nursing jobs, and what types of benefits, including travel nurse insurance, we offer.
Call us today at 208-378-1338 to learn how you can join the Elite Specialty Staffing team and advance your nursing career today.