4 Tips To Choose Health Insurance As A Travel Nurse

Nurse First provides health insurance options for our travelers. In addition to opting-in for our health insurance plans, you can also opt-out to choose your own independent insurance plan. Whether you’re choosing one of ours or your own, here are 4 tips to finding health insurance as a travel nurse.

Identify Your Network Plan

Choosing health insurance starts with the network plans. There are four major ones that all offer the same thing, medical care, but with different exceptions. Here is a summary of each plan:

  • The Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plan covers costs only for care providers within your network, except for emergencies. EPO plans allow for specialist visits without referrals from primary physicians.
  • The Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan also covers costs only for providers within your network, except for emergencies. However, HMO plans do require referrals before you can visit specialists.
  • The Point of Service (POS) plan allows for both in-network and out-of-network visits, but you will pay less when visiting providers within your network. POS plans also require referrals for specialist visits.
  • The Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan tends to offer the most coverage, including in-network providers as well as increased costs for out-of-network visits. PPO plans do not require referrals, so you can freely see specialists.

The main difference between network plans is coverage; while some plans restrict non-emergency visits to providers within the network, others allow out-of-network visits. So, identify whether out-of-network care is something you would like to have the option of.

Consider The Co-Pay

Your insurance plan will divide the total cost of your doctor or hospital visit into different tiers categorized as metals: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Bronze holds the lowest monthly premium and the highest treatment costs for you, while platinum offers the highest monthly premium and the lowest cost for your care. The insurance company pays 60% for the bronze tier, 70% for the silver tier, 80% for the gold tier, and 90% for the platinum tier, leaving the other percentages for you to pay.

The choice for which category is best for you depends entirely on how much you would prefer to pay the insurance to not have to pay the provider. If you prefer paying more each month in exchange for paying less during doctor and hospital visits, then the higher tiers are for you.

Look Into Travel-Specific Insurance

Travelers working in different states may have trouble sticking to one network plan. Many times, you can find providers within your network for care even if you travel from North Carolina to South Carolina to Florida and back. However, you’ll need to double-check with your plan before you sign on and review options in the compact states you’re considering.

In cases where you prefer to opt for health insurance plans specifically tailored to travelers, some companies, like World Nomads, offer coverage when you’re on the road, including assistance with transportation should you need it while moving between states.

Consider Coverage Length

Short gaps between assignments may interfere with some insurance plans, so ensure that your plan guarantees benefits despite gaps in employment. Some travel insurance mentioned in the previous tip can be helpful in these situations, as well as Nurse First’s insurance plans. But don’t worry too much if it takes additional time to find your next assignment; Nurse First allows travelers to remain on our insurance plan if they are already on contract with us, and the gap does not exceed 4 weeks. This should give you plenty of time to stay covered as you reach out to facilities.

If, instead of opting for our coverage, you decide to research and sign on with private health insurance, we hope this blog provided some useful tips. Otherwise, if you have any questions regarding our health insurance plans, contact us here anytime.

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