This article was provided by Next Travel Nursing.
Choosing to embark on a travel nursing career is one of the most exciting decisions you can make. It opens up a wealth of opportunities you probably wouldn’t have had otherwise, bringing the chance to experience new destinations, pick up new skills, earn great money, and much more. But it also brings up several questions, including what to do about health insurance.
Before signing that contract and heading out on the road, you’ll not only want to know the basics such as the pay, hours, and type of housing options you have but what to do about your own personal care. After all, travel nurses don’t just take care of others. They can become ill or get injured too. Fortunately, most RN travel jobs include insurance through the agency, but private policies are available.
Pros and Cons of each option:
To make the best decision, it’s important for any registered nurse to weigh the pros and cons of each.
Taking the Agency Health Insurance Plan
The travel nurse agency can make it easy for you to get coverage. You won’t have to worry about researching the countless options available, which can take a ton of time, something that a busy registered nurse usually doesn’t have to spare. All you have to do is sign on the dotted line and let the agency take care of the rest.
As many healthcare travel agencies pay a decent portion of your health insurance when selecting their coverage, it’s usually much less costly than obtaining it on your own. As the agencies are typically covering many nurses, it allows individuals to take advantage of the cheaper rates and benefits that are primarily available only to larger businesses and corporations. The plan itself often has better coverage than a private solution for this very reason. You may even have multiple options available from your travel nurse company. For example, Next Travel Nursing offers both a standard and premium plan that starts from day one, with different deductibles to choose from and preventative care covered at 100 percent, along with an excellent prescription coverage plan.
Just like anything else, there is a downside to taking the agency plan too. If you decide to take extended time off or frequently change agencies, just like a regular job, your coverage will end when your assignment ends. Of course, if you plan on working with the same company, this is unlikely to be an issue.
Taking Out a Private Health Insurance Plan
With a private health insurance plan, you’ll be covered throughout the year whether you’re on the job or not. It won’t matter if you change agencies with every assignment, which can save the stress and potential problems due to gaps in coverage. You’ll be able to register and work with multiple travel nurse companies, with coverage regardless of the assignment you’re on.
As mentioned, taking out your own individual plan is usually more costly, however, and you might be limited as to what can be covered. When there are larger groups of people on a plan, the insurance company can “pool the risk,” providing better benefits at discounted rates. Something else to think about is that not all insurance companies will cover you in every state. That means if you plan on taking assignments in a wide range of locations, you could struggle to find a good plan that will cover you wherever you are.