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Insurance when not on assignment

Travel   (1,086 Views | 3 Replies)

1,373 Profile Views; 21 Posts

I have been searching for info on health insurance while traveling. I have only seen American Mobile/NursesRx show that they provide insurance for up to 30 days between assignments. Are there others? I am concerned about not being covered, but still want extended time off between jobs.

Please direct me to a great company!

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2 Followers; 1 Article; 5,378 Posts; 45,480 Profile Views

American Mobile is required to COBRA insurance so you are covered. In fact, you may several months covered between AM sending the required COBRA election form, electing to continue coverage, and then actually paying a premium, so you can self select whether to pay the premium based on actual needs. Insurance companies hate COBRA for that very reason and it is huge benefit for travelers (at least previously).

No matter, I would get a quote for private insurance from a Blue company, and then probably COBRA anyway until you have access to better prices in November on the ACA health exchange. You can COBRA your existing insurance for 18 months from the time your job ends.

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21 Posts; 1,373 Profile Views

So my choices would be to pay for my insurance all the time, or pay for COBRA when I'm not working. Seems the COBRA choice would be cheaper? I'll have to look into that more.

Do companies generally give you an insurance stipend if you pay for your own, like with housing?

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2 Followers; 1 Article; 5,378 Posts; 45,480 Profile Views

Agency paid health insurance is fake, it is being paid in lieu of compensation. Agencies bill hospitals a flat rate for hours worked, so all compensation comes out of the same pot. Whether you pay directly for COBRA or the agency does so, the cost to you is exactly the same (COBRA does allow the employer to charge an extra 2% administration fee over the underlying cost of insurance - you pay the employer the COBRA premium, not the insurance company).

Group health, though costly, is the best bargain pre-Obamacare for anyone with pre-existing conditions. Private insurance was the best bargain for those with no health conditions. Things are a bit more muddled now. Depending on which state you are from, the exchange cost is probably lower than the COBRA cost, and the private insurance is anyone's guess (it will also be state dependent). A big factor for travelers to consider when picking how to get insurance and what plan, is coverage nationwide.

For reasons unknown to me, most agencies pay far less for an insurance stipend than their actual cost. Depending on the size of the agency, they are likely to be unwilling to give you a stipend at all unless you have proof of insurance. If you do have proof, they are legally allowed to pay for your (privately paid) insurance premium without withholding taxes - which is super cool when find an agency willing to do that as normally privately paid premiums is after taxes, not before - saving you 20 or 30 percent on your health insurance costs. The same is true of COBRA by the way. If you are working for the agency, it is paid with pretax dollars. Once you start paying the premium after the assignment is over, it is post-tax dollars.

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