Travel nurses are highly skilled and experienced nurses who fill in staffing shortages at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant shortage of nurses, as many have been sickened or quarantined. Travel nurses help to fill this void and provide much-needed care to patients.
The demand for travel nurses will continue to grow in the coming months. It’s because they’re precious to hospitals during COVID-19 surges. And the pandemic is far from over. Since travel nurses don’t directly work as permanent employees, their contracts are time-limited, and the hospital doesn’t pay for their health insurance. So, what are the options for travel nurses when it comes to health insurance? Here are three.
Short-term health insurance
One excellent health insurance option for travel nurses is short-term health insurance. These policies are designed to cover you for a specific period, which is great if you’re only working in one place for a few months.
These plans are affordable and can be tailored to your specific needs. You can also choose how long you need the coverage, which is excellent if your assignment is shorter or longer than expected.
The flexibility and affordability of short-term health insurance make it an excellent option for travel nurses. If you’re considering this type of policy, compare different plans and find one that fits your needs. You can also talk to a licensed agent to get more information about short-term health insurance.
Comparing plans and talking to an expert are great ways to ensure you get the best coverage for your needs. Or you can use a health insurance lead system to get quotes from different insurers.
However, remember that short-term health plans can deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions and may not cover some essential health benefits, so it’s important to understand your policy before purchasing it.
Individual and family health insurance
ACA-compliant health insurance plans are another excellent option for travel nurses. You can get these insurance plans online through Healthcare.gov or a private insurance company.
These plans will cover you and your family while you’re on assignment, and they’ll usually be much cheaper than getting health insurance through your employer. Just make sure to research and compare prices before buying a plan.
Also, be mindful of the open enrollment period for ACA plans. You can only enroll in these plans during specific times of the year, so make sure you’re aware of the dates. But there are exceptions like:
These qualifying life events will allow you to enroll in a new ACA plan outside of the open enrollment period. Choosing this insurance plan allows you to control your coverage and keep your family insured while you’re on the road.
Agency-provided health insurance
As mentioned, travel nurses are not permanent workers in the hospital. Instead, an agency contracts them to work for a specific number of weeks or months in a hospital, and then they move on to another assignment.
Many travel nurse agencies offer health insurance to their employees. It’s a great benefit, as it can be difficult and expensive to find your health insurance.
You don’t need to shop around and compare plans, as the agency will usually have a plan that they offer to all of their employees. However, even though this is appealing, the health plan might not be the right insurance for your needs.
Before you accept a position with an agency, make sure to ask about their health insurance policy and whether or not it will meet your needs. You don’t want any surprises down the road!
Also, be sure that you fully understand the policy. Some policies have a waiting period before you’re eligible for coverage, so if you have any health concerns, make sure that you’ll be covered right away.
The last thing you want is to start your new job and then find out that you’re not covered for the care that you need.
Can you get fined for not having health insurance?
Although the tax penalty for not having health insurance has been overruled, some states have enacted their mandates. You can get subjected to a fine in the following states:
The amount varies by state, but it is typically a percentage of your income or a flat fee. So, if you ever get assigned to work in a hospital located in those states and don’t have health insurance, you could be subject to a fine.
Not everyone has the same health insurance options and needs. Everyone’s plans are unique and different, requiring thoughtful consideration. The same is true for travel nurses. While they may not have many health insurance options, three options stick out. These are short-term health insurance, ACA-compliant plans, and agency-provided health insurance.
She spends her days reading up on the latest research about health, exercise, and nutrition—and when she’s not doing that, she’s cooking something delicious or trying out new recipes. She also loves spending time outdoors—hiking, biking, skiing…you name it!
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