Travel nurse insurance revoked

  1. Hey all,

    i recently started travel nursing about two months ago and my company didn't have day 1 insurance. It was supposed to kick off after 30 days which it did, but I had some pre-approved pto about 3 weeks in to my assignment for a week. When the second month of work started they took the money for insurance out of my paycheck but the next day sent an email saying my insurance was revoked because I don't have an average of 30h/wk. they gave me the money back but I'm so furious because I've needed to go to the doctor but can't because it's too expensive without insurance. Has anyone had this problem? I'm with aureus medical and was also wondering how other companies do their insurance?

    I was also looking to take a month off in between my contracts to travel abroad, but again my insurance would be revoked (if I even get it). I know there's cobra available but that's about $500/mo ...are there any agencies that let you take that amount of time off without revoking insurance?

    they also didn't pay me my housing stipend which I didn't expect them too for the week I was out of town, but some fellow travelers are telling me they still get their housing stipend when they take a few days off? Thought that was odd but I'm new to this so not sure.

    thanks ๐Ÿ˜Š
  2. Visit Nurselyfe92 profile page

    About Nurselyfe92

    Joined: Feb '15; Posts: 13; Likes: 73

    6 Comments

  3. by   sirI
    Hello,

    We moved your thread to the Travel Nursing forum for the best response.
  4. by   Have Nurse
    Quote from Nurselyfe92
    Hey all,

    i recently started travel nursing about two months ago and my company didn't have day 1 insurance. It was supposed to kick off after 30 days which it did, but I had some pre-approved pto about 3 weeks in to my assignment for a week. When the second month of work started they took the money for insurance out of my paycheck but the next day sent an email saying my insurance was revoked because I don't have an average of 30h/wk. they gave me the money back but I'm so furious because I've needed to go to the doctor but can't because it's too expensive without insurance. Has anyone had this problem? I'm with aureus medical and was also wondering how other companies do their insurance?

    I was also looking to take a month off in between my contracts to travel abroad, but again my insurance would be revoked (if I even get it). I know there's cobra available but that's about $500/mo ...are there any agencies that let you take that amount of time off without revoking insurance?

    they also didn't pay me my housing stipend which I didn't expect them too for the week I was out of town, but some fellow travelers are telling me they still get their housing stipend when they take a few days off? Thought that was odd but I'm new to this so not sure.

    thanks ํ ฝํธŠ

    Well, really it depends on what's in your contract. You might review the small print. Many travelers work for companies whom offer Medical/Dental etc. from Day 1! You might consider working for someone else as far as the insurance coverage goes. But, be prepared to cover your own premiums if you take considerable time to do something personal.

    Even regular type employers will caution their staff regarding hours and benefits if they are gone too long.

    Regarding the housing stipend, I had to give mine up when I was relocated to a hotel due to a mice infestation at the house at which I was living while on assignment. But for a couple of days off? Most travelers, as your colleagues have verified, may keep it.
  5. by   Have Nurse
    Quote from Nurselyfe92
    Hey all,

    i recently started travel nursing about two months ago and my company didn't have day 1 insurance. It was supposed to kick off after 30 days which it did, but I had some pre-approved pto about 3 weeks in to my assignment for a week. When the second month of work started they took the money for insurance out of my paycheck but the next day sent an email saying my insurance was revoked because I don't have an average of 30h/wk. they gave me the money back but I'm so furious because I've needed to go to the doctor but can't because it's too expensive without insurance. Has anyone had this problem? I'm with aureus medical and was also wondering how other companies do their insurance?

    I was also looking to take a month off in between my contracts to travel abroad, but again my insurance would be revoked (if I even get it). I know there's cobra available but that's about $500/mo ...are there any agencies that let you take that amount of time off without revoking insurance?

    they also didn't pay me my housing stipend which I didn't expect them too for the week I was out of town, but some fellow travelers are telling me they still get their housing stipend when they take a few days off? Thought that was odd but I'm new to this so not sure.

    thanks ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Well, really it depends on what's in your contract. You might review the small print. Many travelers work for companies whom offer Medical/Dental etc. from Day 1! You might consider working for someone else in the future as far as the insurance coverage goes. But, be prepared to cover your own premiums if you take considerable time to do something personal.

    Even regular type employers will caution their staff regarding hours and benefits if they are gone too long.

    Regarding the housing stipend, I had to give mine up when I was relocated to a hotel due to a mice infestation at the house at which I was living while on assignment. But for a couple of days off? Most travelers, as your colleagues have verified, may keep it.
  6. by   NedRN
    First thing for a new traveler is to shop around. Even a cursory Google search will show Aureus has more negative reviews for travel nurses (they do better with allied health travelers) than any other agency. If insurance is important to you (still mandatory under Obamacare), that is one thing (among others) you should review with any prospective agency. In my view, you should sign with several agencies so you have a plan B when things go bad and they should not be random but picked carefully on the basis of what real benefits they have for you, and the quality of communication you have with the recruiter.

    $500 a month is a bargain for decent insurance. Unlikely you can do better on the healthcare exchange where plans for most states will be above $700 without subsidy (which travelers don't qualify for because of income level). If you still can get COBRA from your last job, do it! Otherwise, you can shop agencies for the best plans (usually not such great insurance plans though, or very expensive if they are).

    Failing that, you can negotiate with physicians. Typical insurance contracted rates (often you will pay that in full with a high deductible insurance plan anyway) are on the order of $75/80 for a physician visit, $120 for a specialist. If you ask the office person, they will often have a cash rate that is about that with no negotiation.

    As far as your other issues go, every agency is different on details and much depends on a multitude of variables. But first understand the basis of how agencies work: they receive an hourly bill rate for every hour you work. You don't work, they don't get paid. They take out a portion of the bill rate to cover their own costs (industry average is currently around 25% - Aureus is higher though) and the remaining 75% is sliced up into the various compensation components paid to you. This includes your hourly rate, housing and per diems, travel pay, completion bonus, insurance, and employer side payroll taxes. If you don't generate billable hours, they have to reduce your compensation.

    In this case, Aureus is cheaping out by making you ineligible for insurance and housing to compensate. Some agencies will simply work in their extra costs of a contracted pre-approved week off by lowering your hourly or some other pay component for the entire contract, making the cost to you invisible. Others, particularly with a proven traveler who they want to treat well, or with a better than average margin on a particular contract, may choose to eat the extra cost out of their own margin. Lots of ways to go, but the size of the compensation pie is wholly dependent on the bill rate and actual hours worked.

    There is a "clawback" penalty for missed hours in most agency contracts that Aureus could have utilized instead. In a completely fair contract, those missed hour penalties will be exactly the per hour rate of all your compensation (not just the hourly) added together (probably in the $50 to $70 an hour range less your actual hourly that you are not getting paid for hours you don't work). But many contracts are poorly worded with undefined damages, or attempt to include lost profits (the agency 25% share of hours you didn't work).

    Wrap your head around how business really works, and you will realize that these very different stories you are hearing from travelers may all be true, but need perspective on how the underlying finances work. You may find you are making significantly less on the surface (and knowing Aureus, likely for sure) than travelers for other agencies (or benefits), but you have to examine the entire compensation package for those travelers and yourself and do some math to verify that. You can get a handle into what you are really making, and what different agency's offers are really worth by using PanTravelers travel calculator.
  7. by   travelRN555
    My agency offers day 1 medical and you can take up to 2 weeks off between assignments without losing coverage. You can stretch it to 3 week with creative scheduling, but I've only ever had one assignment start on a Friday.

    If you take approved time off during an assignment they won't pay your stipend because at the end of the day your stipend is tied to your hours worked.

    I've been traveling for over 5 years and have worked all but 2 assignments with my current agency. What I have found is that at the end of the day the hospitals all pay the same rates and companies will divvy up that money in various ways, so while some nurses may be making more per week, they might have less benefits such medical coverage, CEs and certifications paid for. They may also be risking being flagged by the IRS.

    Your friends who have had stipends paid for during their time off may have negotiated a lower rate which would have covered their time off, or worked OT the other weeks to make up their total contracted hours (I did that when I took 2 weeks off during a contract)....or they have been with their agencies forever and are offered a few added perks for their loyalty.
  8. by   CameToSlay
    I can confirm Aureus has a brutal health insurance eligibility policy. They will take it away and not even let you know.

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