Insurance. Take package from each or one main insurance?


I am interested in starting to travel and need health insurance. Do you take the insurance pkg from each agency so that you can work for multiple agencies? 401K etc? Or stay with one agency? Thanks


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Insurance is not this thread's topic and I would recommend you start a new thread if you want insurance related responses. If you do, I'll post my two cents!

Silverdragon102, BSN

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Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 35 years experience.

Moved to a thread on it's own


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I am interested in starting to travel and need health insurance. Do you take the insurance pkg from each agency so that you can work for multiple agencies? 401K etc? Or stay with one agency? Thanks

You have multiple choices with insurance. You can COBRA your staff insurance when you go traveling for 18 months. You can take agency insurance every assignment, or COBRA an agency insurance you like for up to 18 months even if you go to work with another agency. You can purchase insurance on your state's healthcare exchange or if your state doesn't have one, on You can also buy insurance privately from a multitude of companies and agents.

Check each plan carefully as some plans only have local providers other than ER care which doesn't do travelers much good when they are away from home most of the time.

Be prepared for sticker shock. It is unlikely that you will qualify for a premium subsidy from the federal government and I think you will find that even a very high deductible personal plan will cost you between $400 and $800 a month no matter where sourced. Get used to it as this is the real price of insurance. In fact, that is what you are paying right now - it is just hidden from view. If your employer wasn't largely paying the premium, your pay would be higher by a similar amount. Same with your employer as a traveler. You are paying these costs one way or another whether you see the full price or not.

HSA's or healthcare savings accounts allow you to pay for unreimbursed costs of healthcare such as copays, deductibles, and certain other costs not covered by insurance (acupuncture for example) without paying taxes first. Perhaps that is what you meant by 401 (a type of retirement savings account) as you can put money into either type of account "first dollar" or before taxes. That makes them spend "better" to pay for costs later. In fact, left over money in an HSA can be converted to a 401 or other retirement account. While HSAs are hugely beneficial to ordinary workers, very few people have them for the same reason very few people save substantial amounts of money, they require financial discipline.


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Also to note when looking for insurance is either HMO or PPO. As a traveler that might make a difference. We just had to go through picking and changing Insurance.



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I agree. An HMO is a non-starter for travelers.

Specializes in Cardiac/Med Surg. Has 12 years experience.

thanks for all the replies and moving to new thread. My problem is that my hubby and daughter (23) are on my insurance at my job now and insurance has doubled for this coming year. If it was just myself needing insurance wouldn't be a problem so now to I'll try and calculate the $400-$800 month and see if its worth traveling..trying to figure out taxed and not taxed part of the salary is hard enough:)

thanks again


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Your share of insurance has doubled? That doesn't mean the COBRA cost has gone up.

PanTravelers has a nice calculator to help you figure out what you are really making. It is especially useful to compare different offers.


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obamacare cost me less than $200/month


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That is not possible for most nurses making $50,000 or more.


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This seems fraudulent, but what do I know. I work with another traveler who announced that she is going to pay the penalty at the end of the year for being uninsured as a traveler and since she is only "making" 10/hr as a traveler, she will not owe very much. She also said for 2015, she is going to get insurance through "obamacare" and again, on paper, she makes 10/hr -that rate is going to get her covered for dirt cheap.