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Time off between assignments?

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by morningland morningland (New Member) New Member

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I was wondering; Travel nurse is in my future but I was wondering how much time you can take off between assignments.

I want to be a traveler for a couple years and I was wondering what they typical policy is for the amount of time you can take off in between assignments. Also, I am planning on taking a leave of absence in the next couple years to travel the world.

I would likely want to take a year off. Obviously, I would want to take a refreser course before starting again but what would my options be? Outside of the leave of absence I would only plan on taking three to four weeks off between assignments.

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2,580 Visitors; 70 Posts

You can take an assignment back to back or just take time off as you want, I took 1 month off to travel Europe, just make sure you have savings and let your recruiter now your next start date. hope it helps!

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5,018 Visitors; 203 Posts

you dont need a refresher if you are taking 4-6weeks off. just let your recruiter know when you will be back.

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wanderlust99 has 10 years experience and specializes in ICU/PACU.

13,479 Visitors; 793 Posts

I usually take 1-3 weeks off in between assignments. Though I did recently take 6 wks. There is no policy. You would just tell your recruiter the date you're available.

As for taking a year off, I'd wonder if hospitals would be hesitant to hire you as a traveler with that much time out of practice? I'm not sure.

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4,108 Visitors; 168 Posts

You can take as much time off as you like, but don't forget your benefits eligibility. The company I'm currently signed with states you MUST be signed with your next contract and start within 30 days of your last day of work or you will lose your health insurance. With the ACA in place, every month you are without insurance will incur a penalty when you pay your taxes. So, take as much time off as you like, but don't forget to factor that in.

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2 Followers; 1 Article; 44,497 Visitors; 5,292 Posts

That statement by your agency is not compatible with COBRA. They have a certain amount of time to inform you of your eligibility to continue your insurance through COBRA, and you have a good bit of time to elect to take it. Altogether, you can push 90 days of effective insurance coverage before actually having to pay.

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It states you may elect to take COBRA, and they notify you of your eligibility as soon as your contract ends but those rates are not cheap. But it does specifically state that your insurance ends when your assignment ends if you do not rebook and start within 31 days. Any claims you incur you are responsible for. "To cover any claims you must elect continuous coverage under COBRA" So you are right, but the MINIMUM 2014 rate for COBRA is over $350/month. Pretty expensive, in fact, more so than the tax penalty, and most of us probably don't qualify for subsidy. You can push it if you don't make any claims but under the new healthcare mandates you're penalized every month you go without it. That's why I brought that up.

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2 Followers; 1 Article; 44,497 Visitors; 5,292 Posts

There is no minimum rate for COBRA, it is based on the actual employer cost of insurance plus a 2% administrative fee for handling the paperwork (electing COBRA means you are paying the premium to your former employer, not directly to the insurance company). It could actually be under $200 a month. That said, and if true, you don't want that insurance as it would be too crappy be worth any amount.

Good group health insurance is at least $400 a month. The unsubsidized cost of the Obamacare (ACA) marketplaces (which is also group) are above $400 a month as well. Good private insurance for healthy individuals was much lower than group health, but will be so no longer (unless the law is changed to grandfather those plans in for current members - as the House of Representatives recently did - not law yet).

There is a very beneficial loophole for employees in the COBRA legislation that gives you a time frame to elect coverage, and then another time frame to pay it back to the termination date. Thus you can be covered continuously for up to 90 days or so without paying a dime. Insurance companies fought vigorously to remove this loophole as it is an insurance company's nightmare: self selection of insurance only if the benefits outweigh the premium in hindsight. There are some employee risks in pushing this envelope (the main one being an accident that leaves you unable to pay the back premiums before the deadline - or arranging for a family member to pay it if you are incapacitated - would leave you at risk for the entire lifetime costs of that injury or condition). But the risk of paying a penalty via the IRS for being uninsured is completely trivial - far far less than the cost of monthly premiums. Paying the premiums back to the date of termination eliminates any penalty of course, but would be foolish unless you incurred significant medical costs during that period.

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