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If you are a traveling nurse, you must be wondering about available health insurance for travel nurses. We have created a quick list of some of the top options.
Health insurance for travel nurses is often a complicated consideration. When you’re on the road and relocating multiple times a year, you need reliable health insurance without any gaps.
You also don’t want to pay a fortune for it. Travel nurses are an important part of the US healthcare system. The need for travel nurses (nurses who travel to different locations and work temporarily) came about as a result of a shortage of nurses.
So, hospitals started hiring nurses as and when their needs arose. Do travel nurses need health insurance? Of course, they do, like everyone else. They may care for the sick but are also prone to getting sick.
- Summary: Our Top Picks
- Best Health Insurance Options for Travel Nurses
- AIG Travel Guard
- Atlas World Trips
- World Nomads
- Best Health & Medical Insurers for Travel Nurses
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Kaiser Permanente
- United Healthcare
- Molina Healthcare
- Agency Health Insurance Plan
- Private Health Insurance
- Do Travel Nurses Qualify for Subsidies for Private Health Insurance?
- Do Travel Nurses Receive Healthcare Coverage?
- Can I Get Private Insurance in Addition to Agency Health Insurance?
Summary: Our Top Picks
|Best Health Insurance Overall||Global Medical Insurance|
|Best Budget Health Insurance||ChoiceAmerica®|
|Best Health Insurance for US Visitors
|Best International Health Insurance||SafetyWing|
|Best Health Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions||ChoiceAmerica®|
So, a healthcare plan that covers their needs while traveling to different states is necessary.
Best Health Insurance Options for Travel Nurses
Travel nurses have two options for health insurance: agency health insurance or private health insurance. Most travel nurses work with agencies on a contractual basis, who station them across the states on assignments.
These assignments are normally for 13 weeks but can be as short as eight weeks or as long as 24 weeks. So, you first have to decide whether you want to stick to the coverage provided by your agency or find your health insurance.
VisitorsCoverage is a travel medical insurance company that provides visitors to the United States with comprehensive medical insurance coverage.
The policy covers emergency medical expenses, including those associated with a pre-existing condition. In addition, the policy also provides coverage for lost baggage and trip cancellation.
- Comprehensive coverage for a wide variety of medical expenses
- Affordable plans for individuals and families
- The fast and easy online application process
- 24/7 global customer service
If you need travel nurse health insurance that will be reliable for both medical purposes as well as traveling. VisitorsCoverage is a great option for you. Read our full VisitorCoverage review if you’d like to learn more about their policies and offerings.
SafetyWing is the perfect travel insurance solution for young travelers and digital nomads. No matter where you are heading, SafetyWing has you covered. Whether camping in Thailand or trekking in the Amazon, this affordable provider focuses on helping independent travelers at risk of unforeseen circumstances and accidents.
SafetyWing offers trusted, reliable coverage to get back on track quickly. As a digital nomad, you will often be living in other countries for short periods, and SafetyWing ensures that your insurance works, whether it says ‘US’ or ‘Thailand’ on your passport.
You can trust that SafetyWing will be there whenever something goes wrong while you explore the world. Read our full SafetyWing review to see if this option suits you.
- Protection, regardless of your location
- Help arrives quickly in the event of an emergency
- Low premiums that fit any budget
- Choose the coverage that meets your specific needs
InsureMyTrip is one of the top medical insurance options for travel nurses. They have a wide variety of plans and are always up-to-date on the latest changes in health insurance regulations. This makes them an ideal choice for anyone looking for travel health insurance.
InsureMyTrip also offers excellent customer service. If you have any questions about your policy or need to file a claim, their customer service representatives are always ready and willing to help. They also offer a wide range of resources on their website, so you can learn more about your policy and what it covers.
If you’re looking for travel medical insurance for your next travel nursing assignment, InsureMyTrip is a great option to consider. They have many plans to choose from and offer excellent customer service.
So if you’re looking for health insurance for travel nurses, InsureMyTrip is a great choice.
- Stay healthy while traveling with routine and preventive medical benefits
- Prescription drug benefits and other non-emergency medical benefits
- No expensive medical bills to worry about
- The website is packed with resources that will help you understand your policy
AIG Travel Guard
AIG Travel Guard offers various travel insurance plans to fit your budget and needs. We offer plans for individuals and families, as well as group coverage and international plans.
AIG Travel Guard is committed to providing you with the best possible customer service. Their representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help you find the right plan for your trip and answer any questions.
For more information or to purchase a plan, visit AIG Travel Guard online today.
- Medical emergencies can strike anywhere at any time. Be prepared with Travel Guard.
- Get access to doctors and the right medications no matter where you are.
- We can coordinate your medical evacuation from even the most remote areas.
- You’re covered for pre-existing conditions, unexpected events, and expensive medical evacuations.
Atlas World Trips
Atlas World Trips offers the best travel medical insurance plans for your domestic or international trip. Their plans are designed to provide you with the coverage you need while traveling, and their customer service team is available 24/7 to help you with any questions or concerns.
With Atlas World Trips, you can travel with the peace of mind that your healthcare needs will be handled while you are away from home. No matter what your plans are, Atlas World Trips has you covered. Get the best travel medical insurance for your next vacation, and get out there.
- Plans available for individuals, couples, and families
- Covers you while traveling in over 190 countries
- Get help with emergencies such as medical evacuations, hospital stays, and more
- Trip interruption benefits can help reimburse you for lost trip costs
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
World Nomads provides comprehensive coverage for nurses working in different parts of the world. The insurance policy is also customizable, so you can choose the coverage that best suits your needs.
- Covers you for overseas medical emergencies
- Get coverage for your electronics, sports, activities, and more
- Cancellation policies are available in case of last-minute emergencies
- 24/7 emergency assistance helpline
Like what you are hearing? Read our full World Nomads travel insurance review.
Best Health & Medical Insurers for Travel Nurses
If you’re not completely satisfied with the coverage the health insurance provider your agency uses or you feel the pros of private health insurance outweigh the cons. Then, Opt for the following best health insurance companies for travel nurses:
Cigna is one of the largest health insurance providers in the country. So it can make a good choice for travel nurses if they want to get individual or family insurance. This means the policy stays valid wherever you go for a nursing assignment.
Although Cigna offers relatively affordable PPO and HMO plans, you should stick with the former. If you’re a nurse with diabetes and rely on insulin, you can save quite some money on your insulin every month with their insurance plans.
For those who are a stickler for savings, this private insurance provider will save you some decent money on healthcare expenditures.
Aetna offers many affordable options for individuals and families. As a travel nurse, you may want to save money by buying the cheapest plan available. However, that shouldn’t mean compromising on coverage.
This company also has a vast network and offers discounts on many essential healthcare services. What makes Aetna ideal for travel nurses is its mobile insurance application. You can find all the information you need on the go.
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield provides healthcare plans with coverage in all 50 states, which makes it a good health insurance company for travel nurses. However, Blue Cross Blue Shield works more locally than Blue Cross and Blue Shield, so do your homework on how it will work out when you move across state lines for nursing assignments.
You can also benefit from Blue365 discounts on health and wellness products, which you’ll need a lot of as a travel nurse. This is also a good choice if you need specialty care due to some chronic conditions or serious illnesses.
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Kaiser Permanente is available in eight states, including California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, and Hawaii, as well as Washington D.C. So if you’re in one of these states and don’t get stationed out of state very often, this could be your choice.
Their premiums are quite affordable, especially if you go for an HMO. For instance, they have the largest HMO network in California, so no matter where you are in the Golden State, you can find an in-network doctor through your PCP.
Even if you are out of the coverage state, you’ll receive emergency and urgent care coverage through Kaiser Permanente.
See Related: Health Insurance for Visitors of the USA
United Healthcare is the country’s biggest health insurance provider, offering multiple plans. While you can certainly get annual coverage, you can also go for short-term coverage to fill the gaps between your agency-provided coverage.
Dental and vision can be purchased separately, so you can save money by going for a medical-only. They also have other products that may benefit you as a travel nurse. For instance, you can also buy their travel insurance if you get stationed abroad.
Again, it’s one of those providers with a vast network, so you’ll have access to in-network doctors in most states and counties.
Those travel nurses looking only for short-term health insurance plans should consider HumanaOne’s short-term plans. These plans are some of the most affordable in the country.
You can get this plan for at least 30 days, which can help cover the days you’re off duty. Even if you want coverage for the whole year, HumanaOne’s rates are competitive. It’s the third biggest insurance provider in the country, so you can expect expansive coverage in all 50 states.
HumanaOne offers both HMO and PPO, but their HMO may be too limited for a travel nurse. Even if you’re working in nearby states or the same state, you should go for their PPO. If money is not an issue, you may even want to try the indemnity plans, which give you much more freedom.
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Molina Healthcare works in over eighteen states, with partial coverage in a few. It’s still one of the country’s top ten health insurance providers. Its plans will save you money as almost all plans involve no co-pays.
It’s the best preventive health insurance provider that covers some of the essential services, at least in the states where its network is present. So, as you grow old, you can continue to stay on their coverage and enjoy the many wellness and preventive perks they offer.
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Agency Health Insurance Plan
Agency health insurance plans can be a quick solution for your healthcare needs, but they have disadvantages.
Pros of Agency Health Insurance Plans
The number one advantage of going with the agency’s health insurance plan is avoiding the hassle of finding a healthcare plan.
Agencies usually have a default provider and a standard coverage, so there aren’t many choices. More importantly, it’s much more affordable than private health insurance.
It’s similar to how corporate companies offer their employees health insurance at reduced rates. They do so because of the cheaper rates they get because they bring so many people into the provider’s system.
Another benefit is that you may get wholesome dental and vision coverage. You might not have to shell out more money for these additional coverages.
Cons of Agency Health Insurance Plans
The problem with going with your agency’s health insurance is that it may only be valid when you’re on the job. This may create gaps in your coverage when you’re not on an assignment. You don’t want to be left without coverage for days when you’re not stationed at a hospital.
You may not be covered if you’re also working for another agency. Also, your deductible might increase. On the contrary, if you stick to one agency, you may not make as much money as you can by working for multiple agencies.
Like other job-linked health insurance plans, you only have coverage as long as you work. Your coverage ends when you’re terminated, which can be stressful.
Private Health Insurance
Private health insurance fills some gaps in the agency-provided healthcare plan. However, that doesn’t mean it’s without some disadvantages.
Pros of Private Health Insurance
Private health insurance plans will cover you throughout the year, whether you’re on the job or not. This saves you from potential pitfalls because of agency health insurance coverage gaps.
Another big benefit is that you can register and work with several agencies. Your coverage will cover you regardless of which agency assignment you’re on. This means you can earn more money and work every week if you want to.
Lastly, you can choose a plan that meets your medical needs if you have a condition. While the agency plans to provide coverage everywhere you go, that doesn’t mean it’s always good. With a private insurance provider, you can go for a reliable plan.
Cons of Private Health Insurance
The main case against private health insurance when you’re a travel nurse, is the high cost. These plans would have higher premiums and copays than the agency’s plan.
However, that can be offset by earning more through different agencies. Another con you need to watch out for is the coverage.
Remember, you’re a travel nurse traveling through different states and need coverage everywhere. A private health insurance plan with a mostly local network will not work for you.
PPO vs. HMO for Travel Nurses
When going for private health insurance as a travel nurse, you must choose between a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) or an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization).
You should go for a PPO as it has a bigger network expanded in many states. You’ll be able to find an in-network health practitioner everywhere you go.
In comparison, an HMO uses a Primary Care Physician (PCP) that refers you to specialists. That means you’ll have to change PCPs often or pay more as you travel and consult with doctors outside their network. You can also go for POS (Point of Service), a combination of the two. It will be cheaper than a PPO.
Health insurance while traveling is essential because you never know when you need medical help. The best health insurance for travel nurses provides good coverage without gaps and outrageous costs.
If your agency provides such a plan, it would be best to stick with that and save money. Otherwise, choose from one of the top private health insurance providers.
See Related: Best Travel Insurance Plans for Families
Do Travel Nurses Qualify for Subsidies for Private Health Insurance?
Generally, no. There aren’t any subsidies for private health insurance for healthcare workers. However, it may vary by the health insurance provider. Also, you may be eligible for some federal assistance depending on your income as a travel nurse, which will ultimately lower your premium.
You may also be ineligible for Medicaid as your travel nurse’s salary might be higher than the low-income qualification threshold. So, at the end of the day, you pay the same as any other individual for private health insurance.
Do Travel Nurses Receive Healthcare Coverage?
Most registered nurses are eligible for healthcare coverage by their employer’s insurance provider. However, they do contribute to the premium.
Similarly, travel nurses can also get coverage through the agency they are registered with and pay premiums through their wages.
Can I Get Private Insurance in Addition to Agency Health Insurance?
You can get private health insurance in addition to the insurance plan provided by your agency, but that will up the cost.
The best solution is to go for short-term private plans for periods when you might not have agency coverage, for example, vacation days or transit days between assignments.
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- About the Author
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Blake is a highly experienced travel writer working for a number of publications providing insights about his experiences around the world.