By November 18, 2010 0 Comments

Ask a Travel Nurse: How good are travel nursing benefits?

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travel nurse with daughterI was recently asked about benefits packages when applying to a travel nursing company.

Well I doubt that I would have to tell you that rarely will two companies run their operations in the same manner. This should tell you that insurance benefits from company to company can be drastically different. This means that probably every company to which you apply will have different premiums, coverages, deductibles, etc, etc.

So, if health insurance is at the top of your list of concerns, then whomever you speak to at the travel company should be able to send you all the information you require. Just be clear that your decision to travel with them might very well be based on that info. That way they will hopefully send you a comprehensive packet. If they don’t, then that might tell you a bit about the company and if you want to travel with them.

Another way you might find out some more info on a company’s benefit is turn to the travel nursing forums. You might find posts on people’s specific experiences with their travel company and how good or bad their benefit turned out to be.

 “Well I hope our company benefits are good. We’re paying over a million dollars a year for them”

I would also try to travel with a large or medium sized company with a good reputation. These companies will put more money into securing better benefits for their travelers. A few years ago I was flown out to meet with the CEO of a travel company for which I was working at the time. When I mentioned something about the benefits, I recall his answer was something to the effect of, “Well I hope our company benefits are good. We’re paying over a million dollars a year for them”. Now I have no idea what this figure included; however, from this response I could tell that they put a heavy priority on securing a good benefit package for their travelers. If you sign up to travel with Nurse Nancy Travelers, that has been employing travelers since early 2010, do you really think that company is going to be throwing around a million dollars for a benefits package?

You also have the option of private insurance. Most companies will allow you to decline their insurance package and will compensate you by raising your hourly rate. Whether or not you would be paying more with private insurance probably depends on a ton of different factors and criteria. Private insurance has typically been able to take only the people they want and exclude those with any preexisting conditions or major health problems. However, Obama’s plan might have helped some with that.

The bottom line is that if having good health insurance benefits is important to you, you will need to spend some more time researching the company with which you will travel.

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Posted in: Ask a Travel Nurse

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.

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