By July 21, 2017 3 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: How do Travel Nurses maintain health insurance if working with multiple companies?

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Ask a Travel Nurse: How do Travel Nurses maintain health insurance if working with multiple companies?

Ask a Travel Nurse Question:

I am just starting my research into Travel Nursing. How do Travel Nurses maintain health insurance if working with multiple companies? Do companies require a certain amount of completed or signed contracts to get insurance? Not sure how it works. Thanks for your help!

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

Health insurance can be a difficult aspect of Travel Nursing. Especially these days with it being a federal mandate.

Most companies only offer insurance while on assignment, but plans vary drastically. Some offer benefits day one, while others may start at the first of the month, or after 30 days with the company — which is significant if you are only with a company for a 13-week assignment.

Additionally, you need to know if the benefits cease on the last day of your assignment or continue through to the end of the month or for some other specified period of time. When researching travel companies, if you require much health insurance use at all, the plans they offer should be an important aspect of your company selection.

If you will have long breaks in between assignments, I have always received a Cobra benefits letter, although that coverage will cost significantly more (but at least it is coverage). I also believe that you can get these benefits retroactively as long as you pay all the premiums that would have been due (in case you do have a need before you get your Cobra letter).

You may look into the government plans, but with the political climate, the benefits there could be more unstable than the uncertainty of consecutive travel assignments.

Your best bet is to travel with one or two companies that provide day one benefits and also extend coverage to the last day of the month when your assignment ends or further. Then, if a small break in travel is needed, you could plan to end your assignments within the first few weeks of the month and hopefully have your next assignment begin before the end of the month.

It is a balancing act, but not too terribly difficult with good research into each company’s healthcare plans.

Hope this helps.

David
david@travelnursesbible.com

First time bonus!

About the Author:

Hello everyone. I’m a travel nurse originally from Ohio who graduated in 1993 from Mount Carmel School of Nursing in Columbus. I completed a critical care fellowship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1994 and started traveling in that specialty a year later. My first travel assignment was in Maui and since that time I have completed close to 40 different contracts in various states with multiple travel companies. I am the author of Travel Nurse’s Bible (A Guide to Everything on Travel Nursing), in addition to my writings here and in the pages of Travel Nursing publications such as Healthcare Traveler Magazine and American Nurse Today. I am presently on assignment in Phoenix, AZ and travel anywhere from six to eleven months of the year.

3 Comments on "Ask a Travel Nurse: How do Travel Nurses maintain health insurance if working with multiple companies?"

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  1. Your advice is timely because I am new in this field, and I have just received a Travel Nurse Assignment. The travelling company has also asked me to visit them for the paper works. I will surely remember your Insurance tips before I sign any paper.

  2. Many who are self-employed are eligible for Obamacare.

  3. David says:

    You are certainly welcome Margaret and good luck on your first assignment.

    If you ever need additional options for travel (additional recruiters to help you find contracts) or have any travel questions, feel free to write at david@travelnursesbible.com

    David

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