Do nurses have good medical insurance?

  1. 0
    Hi all,
    I would like to know what kind of medical insurance benefits nurses normally have under various levels of certification and from different types of employers. I am not a nurse -yet- but I am looking at it as a second career after I early retire. Mostly though I am asking for the benefit of my kids who are in college, as a potential career for them.

    Son has a condition that does not impair him at all, as long as he gives himself IV shots several times a week. Unfortunately they costs thousands each shot. While still a student, he is covered 100% by his dad's insurance which is super. After this runs out in 2 years, he would be refused any private policy and must rely on his future employer. He cannot get Medicare disability because he is not disabled (we tried). Though he might become disabled if he can no longer get his medicine. My daughter is on some medications but her costs are much more typical.

    Also before my husband died of cancer, we noted a lot of unfairness in the system. We stood in line at a cancer center pharmacy and picked up a 30 day supply of a cancer drug for a small copay (Thalomid). In the next line, a woman had to write a check for 10,000 copay with the same prescription (and also the same insurance company but a different type of policy). So just because somebody is "insured" doesn't mean they have enough coverage to handle a worst case type of disease that could happen to any of us.

    While my husband was a patient at a major cancer center in Houston, I asked an RN what her coverage was like. She said it was pretty good (I think it was from the state), but they probably would not get approved for a transplant, like a bone marrow transplant. I filed that away in my mind since I was pretty occupied at the time, but I wonder if many of us really know what our insurance covers and how far it will go?

    Most people here don't seem as concerned with medical insurance as other job factors, so I am hoping that it's not a big problem with nursing as a career, and that everybody had good insurance.

    Do RNs and LVN/LPN's working for hospitals, agencies, doctors offices, etc. have good enough coverage to actually become sick?

    I would appreciate input from all walks of nursing. This is something that as a mother, I lie awake worrying about since my son will soon face life without his dad's insurance. After repeatedly waking up worrying about this all night, I decided to come to this board for help this morning.

    Thank you so much in advance for anything you can share.

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  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 1
    Hospitals are you are best bet.
    ambermichelle likes this.
  4. 1
    Like any other job, it depends on the employer.

    My hospital owns the insurance company and most of the physicians offices where my co-workers and myself get our medical care, so you'd think I'd have great insurance. Not so.

    Between insurance premiums that keep rising and ridiculously high deductibles, I pay thousands a year. My daughter has a chronic health condition that would make my out-of-pocket cost even higher (tens of thousands higher!) but she qualifies for a state health program that covers what my medical insurance doesn't.

    If insurance benefits are very important, I'd suggest talking to employees if possible. HR is going to tell you that they offer good insurance and give you a benefits summary that looks good on paper, but talk to the people that actually have to use it and see how good they think their insurance really is.
    ambermichelle likes this.
  5. 1
    I don't think the type of insurance you're offered will have anything to do with the job title of nurse or any level of certification you achieve.
    It will all be a matter of what insurance company a facility offers. Every place of employment will pick their own insurance company and plan. Every employee, regardless of position/pay/experience, will be offered that plan. However, part-time employees can usually expect to pay more per paycheck for their benefits.

    In my experience, the bigger employers (hospital versus independant Doc office), tend to have better benefits packages. Discount by bulk, you know.

    When you interview for a potential job, they will ask you for any questions you might have. Be prepared to grill them on the healthcare benefits their facility offers.
    ambermichelle likes this.
  6. 1
    Larger the place usually the more options they offer, that is why hospitals often have the best deal.
    ambermichelle likes this.
  7. 1
    Depends on the hospital. Mine has some of the best insurance I've ever seen. Aside from a typical United Healthcare PPO in-network/out-of-network structure, there's a level of service that pretty much says any procedures or admissions at our facility has a flat $125 copay. That's it. That's all we paid to have our baby here; it's all I would pay if I had spent a week in the hospital and had a CABG here.

    What makes it that much better is that even though I'm at a smaller community hospital, we're the satellite branch of one of the most respected hospitals in the country, and we have a partnership with Texas Children's Hospital so the same flat copay works there, too.
    ambermichelle likes this.
  8. 1
    I don't think just because we are nurses we get any better benefits than anyone else. Where I work, at a major medical center and the largest employer in my state, the insurance is not good at all. My co-pays for prescriptions are much higher than my non nursing friends. I can actually go to Walmart and pay full price for some of my prescriptions and that is still cheaper than using my insurance. My insurance plan caps off at a certain amount per year and then you pay 100% of everything if you reach the maximum.
    ambermichelle likes this.
  9. 0

    Thanks for your reply.

    Are you saying that, if your medical costs reach a certain amount, that YOU pay everything over that, or the opposite, that your cost is capped at a certain amount and above it they pay everything?

    I have heard of the latter type, i.e. that you pay more up front, but if it's over a certain amount they cover the rest. Your post sounds like the opposite, which sounds appalling if you develop a serious problem, or have to have surgery or get in an accident. A coworder says his son's car accident injuries have cost his insurance $500,000 so far, fortunately he has good insurance.
  10. 1
    Sadly, what I am I saying is that the amount of money the insurance company will pay annually has a limit. Once, that limit is reached, they no longer cover anything. The cap amount is very high and the limit would be reached in cases of transplants, or another major life changing event. One of my co-worker's husband, who she carries on her insurance, has a chronic medical condition that requires monthly IV infusions. She has never reached the cap limit, but she does have to pay 3x the monthly premium that I do because she is considered "high risk".
    ambermichelle likes this.
  11. 1
    I have better insurance working for the public school system than is currently offered in the hospital where I used to work. When I worked there, it was great, but things there have changed greatly.
    ambermichelle likes this.

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