How do you manage health insurance?

  1. I'm thinking about traveling in a couple of years. I've been talking with a couple of the travelers at my job and they've been really helpful and inspiring. One of the things I'm concerned about right now is maintaining insurance while traveling.

    One travel nurse I work with told me that she's stayed with one company and one recruiter the entire time and that that is how she's ensured that she has no breaks in insurance or uninsured periods......but it seems like many travelers recommend working with multiple travel agencies. When you work with different agencies on each assignment, do you just switch insurance with each agency?
  2. Visit hiddencatRN profile page

    About hiddencatRN

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 3,563; Likes: 5,438
    Registered Nurse; from US
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  3. by   WinterWolf90
    I buy private insurance, some companies only insure you the dates that you work, so if you get in an accident while traveling to the next place you are screwed.
  4. by   sweetgurly25
    @winterwolf. which insurance do you use and how much per month
  5. by   hiddencatRN
    Ohhh that would not work for me. I've been previously denied private insurance for preexisting conditions. I need an employer plan.
  6. by   NedRN
    Quote from hiddencatRN
    Ohhh that would not work for me. I've been previously denied private insurance for preexisting conditions. I need an employer plan.
    And you are not thinking about traveling for a couple of years? Things should be different then with pre-existing conditions because of the Affordable Care Act. You will no longer be able to be denied. Expense is another issue of course, but the state plans will be subsidized by the feds and have a reasonable maximum cost.

    The other way to go is to COBRA your existing insurance. You can do that for 18 months at the exact cost (plus 2%) that your employer is paying for group health. You may not travel for longer than that!

    Travel company's insurance tends towards bad, but there are exceptions. You do get what you pay for, and companies with better insurance may have lower pay rates or lower quality housing. It is all coming out of a fixed bill rate, so that means every benefit you get affects another one - it is a fixed pot of money available to pay you. This is very different from how permanent employers work and determine the value of an employee but it is the nature of the travel game.

    You can also COBRA an agency's insurance if you find one you like. So that buys you another 18 months where you can swap agencies at will.

    If your pre-existing is major and you need a first class health care plan, you may have to go perm every 18 months until you qualify for COBRA again (usually within 30 days when your benefits kick in).
  7. by   hiddencatRN
    No, it's super minor, which made the whole situation especially frustrating (I was looking for private insurance because I couldn't afford COBRA from my former job). I'd be willing to see fewer perks in other areas in exchange for insurance: being under insured seems like financial roulette to me and I'm not super optimistic about the Affordable Care Act . But we'll see!
  8. by   NedRN
    Well, have you tried another insurance company? I have Blue Cross, fairly major pre-existing (afib), $200 a month currently (was $130 three years ago) and a $5,000 deductible. I was surprised to get it. I'm happy as can be: contracted rates for doctor visits, meds, and labs; and lots of coverage if the worst were to happen. Even had a colonoscopy last year for free, and one checkup a year free - perhaps part of the ACA (not sure). I tried really hard last year to max it out with surgery and procedures, couldn't do it.
  9. by   hiddencatRN
    I've had insurance through my jobs or my husband's for a few years now, but at the time the only thing I could get was a catastrophic only plan from a company I'd never heard of. No doctors visits but if I was hit by a bus the bill wouldn't have been too disastrous.
  10. by   ChristopherB
    The agency I work for pays for my health insurance for up to a month in between assignments. I haven't had any issues finding assignments only working with one travel nursing company.