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Will it cost me more to travel?

myhoagie02 myhoagie02 (Member)

Asking for travelers' advice on my circumstances. I've recently started to entertain the idea of travelling. I have 3 years experience in a busy level 3 ER. My motivation for doing this is to quickly pay off my student loan debt and to help pay for the adoption of a child. If I can do it long enough, even pay off my car loan.

I've talked to several travelers who are already in the ER I work in, but all of them are either single or receive health benefits throught their spouse. My concern is:

1. Health insurance - from what I've read here is I can purchase my own or go through the travel agency..if I stay with one company. COBRA is rather expensive when insuring a family. Will purchasing my own plan be just as expensive? We don't typically have a lot of medical costs. If anything, I use my vision and dental the most.

2. Since my husband is self-employed, I carry the health benefits. Typically, does insurancing a spouse (and now I have to consider a child with a pending adopton) cost significantly more?

3. Again, with my self-employed husband...I currently pay for AD&D and Accident Insurance available from my current employer should he become injured on his job and can't work. How do I keep this benefit? Should I consider State Farm (who we use to insure our home and autos) or similar company?

I don't want to risk making more money only to find out I have to spend more money on these benefits. Since I know different markets pay differently, I'll say that I'm considering traveling in or 3-4 hours within my hometown of Memphs, TN. Then, if that goes well I've also considered St. Louis and Atlanta since I have family there and can decrease my living expenses.

Thanks in advance!

Edited by myhoagie02

Your question on cost is easily answered by visiting your state or the federal healthcare exchange. Anything you get now will survive Trump's term as it is all provided by private insurers on the current Obamacare requirements.

Yes, insurance is expensive. You will likely pay the same on the exchange as the COBRA price. They are both going to be full cost to you (no subsidy). The only advantage of not doing COBRA is that your insurance will last longer than the 18 months COBRA provides.

You can also shop agencies for best healthcare coverage. They will also be expensive (at least for insurance that is worthwhile), but some will hide the cost (just like your current employer does) by lowering pay in other parts of your compensation to compensate. The bottom line is that you are actually paying for your insurance now, and in the future. You just have to get over the sticker shock.

As a traveler you make the same as a permanent staff member essentially without the benefits included. I would advise that if it is only for more money to become staff. Stipends go for food travel and housing that you will use for that purpose basically. You won't get rich in travel, you get to meet new people and explore new areas.

I left a full time job about 6 months ago with very good benefits, up and moved to Tennessee. It is very rural and nursing jobs are not that plentiful. I found a prn job, not getting many hours. So I took (and finished ) my first travel assignment to Alabama. Next I am going to Florida in January. I did worry mostly about my families health insurance since I always carried it, as my husband is self employed. I have a representative that I have talked to twice to help get us on the healthcare exchange. On the downside, those phone calls last about a couple of hours... My situation was complicated because of the move, and having college age kids in 2 separate states on my plan. It is based on your taxable income, so as long as your husband doesn't make too much, you will qualify for subsidies. I plan on only doing 2 travel contracts a year, and work a bit locally during my time home. I have been a nurse for 27 years and ready to slow down a bit.

It is very unlikely that a full time traveler will be eligible for subsidy.

I thank everyone for their input, but after calculating the cost, it turns out that it will not be cost effective for me to travel. I've contacted my insurance company that we use to insure our cars and house and got quotes on the supplemental plans that I currently have with my employer (accident insurance, AD&D, life insurance for both myself and spouse), and they can't complete with the savings I currently get with my employer. So although I'd be making more per hour, I'd be paying more for the supplemental plans I currently have so it comes out being a complete wash. I defeats the purpose of traveling.

It doesn't defeat the primary reason to travel. Which is the lifestyle and adventure! Even if it was financially better, you shouldn't take up travel nursing if you don't love traveling.

Seeing new places and adventure were secondary for me NedRN. My primary purpose to travel was motivated by quickly paying off my loans. However, after calculating the costs of my "extras", I'd be no closer to paying off my loans that I currently am.


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