Ask a Travel Nurse Question:
I have emailed you before and I appreciate the information received. I am really hoping to do travel nursing in November and I am terrified.
There are so many companies and so many different reviews on each company, that it is hard to know good from bad. Anyway, the question I have for you is concerning insurance. I have a son who already has a medical history at 4 and I want to make sure I have coverage for him in the future. Is it better to use the coverage per assignment or pay the extra money per month and purchase my own insurance to maintain a steady coverage? If it’s better to get outside insurance, is there any insurance you would recommend?
Thanks again for your help and I hope to here from you soon.
Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:
I can only give you an opinion on what I might do in your situation, but whatever you choose, I would research each option thoroughly.
I have always used the travel company’s insurance, but I have minimal medical expense and have never had a child about whom I have to worry. Taking the travel company’s insurance would probably be cheaper (even with the added expense of a family plan), but might lead to gaps in coverage if you were not taking back to back assignments. In choosing a travel company, have them send you an info packed on their insurance coverage BEFORE you consider traveling with them. Since this is such an important consideration, you want to be well informed about a company’s coverage before traveling with them. If you prefer to use private insurance, obviously, this is not a factor.
If I were in your situation, because of the inability to assure continuous coverage, I would probably opt for carrying private insurance.
When you do carry your own private insurance, you should see an increase in your hourly rate from your travel company. I would first get a rate quote on a travel assignment without mentioning the private insurance, then once you have the specifics figured out (like how much you would receive for housing stipend or any travel money), ask what the numbers would look like without the insurance.
I’m sorry that I don’t have any resources to give you as far as obtaining private insurance. If you know any travelers working at your hospital, ask them what they do for insurance. You can also post the question regarding insurance to the travel nursing forums on ultimatenurse.com and the Delphi forum for traveling professionals (go to delphiforums.com, look for the box on the right that says “Explore existing forums”, type in “travel nursing” and the top result is a group called Travel Nurses and Therapists with over half a million members). Pan Travelers is also another good site with a forum, as well as HealthcareTravelbook.com (which is a Facebook type community for travelers).
I cannot recall what information I provided last time, but if you need some recommendations on travel companies, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you the names of the people I use at the companies I trust. There are a few companies that I recommend that I am on file with, but have not yet traveled with that company. However, in these instances, I found recruiters that have a good amount of experience and are good at working with nurses just starting out in travel (which means they are patient and do a good job of answering the many questions new travelers might have).
I’m sorry I could not provide more direct information on private insurance, but I hope this helps with your decision