Evaluating your Travel Nursing BenefitsRobert Tehoke
Don’t just compare Travel Nurse Agencies based on pay rates. Look at the full package including benefits. Important to note, check on how soon you will be eligible for coverage. If it’s not day 1, how are you going to cover yourself? Beyond that here are a few benefits and what to consider when evaluating packages:
There are several factors to consider when evaluating Medical/health insurance. Here are 3 factors to consider; Premium cost, Deductible cost, and coverage.
- Premium Cost – This is what the Agency will charge you to be on the plan. It is typically taken out of your check pre-tax. It is important to know if the premiums are covered. If they are not, what are the cost coming out of your check. Do they cover dependents?
- Deductible Cost – A “deductible” is the amount you pay before the insurance plan starts paying on the claim. Most companies have moved to a “high deductible plan”. The IRS defines a high deductible health plan as any plan with a deductible of at least $1,350 for an individual or $2,700 for a family. The cost coming out of your check for these types of plans should be lower than those of traditional plans. Some companies offer an HSA, to help with some of the cost of a deductible. HSA stands for Health Savings Account. Basically, it like a personal savings account. You or the Employer can contribute pre-tax dollars to the account and you can use it for qualified expenses.
- Coverage – Finally, look at the Network of doctors that are covered. Your recruiter should be able to give you the type of plan and network. Most of the insurance companies have a physician lookup feature on their website. Take the time to ensure the network has coverage.
Dental & Vision
Although the same criteria above apply to these types of insurance, there are some differences. Premium costs are considerably cheaper than that of Medical Insurance however someone is going to pay for them. Also, there are no “high deductible plans”, however there is a maximum dollar amount that these insurances will cover. Know the cost of the premiums and limitations of the coverage as this will impact your overall compensation package.
There are really three main questions here, what amount am I insured, how much do they cost and they portable. The amount of coverage ranges dramatically from $5,000 to $50,000. This is typically up to the agency on what they want to provide. The real question is, are these supplemental or company paid. If they are supplemental, this means you pay the cost. And it will come out of your compensation. If they are company paid, the amount of coverage will typically be on the lower end. Which leaves the remaining question, are they portable. Why does that matter? Well typically insurance providers are giving rates on a pool of people and those rates are at times cheaper than what you can buy that same insurance for, so understand and ask questions of your agency.
Other Supplemental Insurances
These are typically from Aflac, Colonial Life, or one of the many others that have entered this insurance space. With a national presence, effective marketing, and a cute duck, it’s difficult to find people who aren’t familiar with Aflac Insurance these days. When you get hurt and might need to miss work, these insurance policies can help to fill in the gaps of income that are lost between disability payments and your normal income. Once protected by these policies, you’ll get cash that can be used for anything from the utility bills to the mortgage. There are many products from Accident Insurance, Cancer Insurance, Critical Illness, and Short-term disability. Just remember, these are nice to haves and very rarely will agencies pay for any of the premiums. But once you do elect the insurance it is portable and your rates are locked in.
Fusion HCR Healthcare Travel Nursing
We hope this helps give some insights into how to evaluate your benefits. There are several more types of benefits offered and we do have tools to assist in comparing agency benefit plans. If you are interested in learning more, or have questions about travel benefits, please call us at 937-572-7902. We are happy to help!