Insurance for Travel Nurses: Understanding Your Options

Written by Health Providers Choice on Monday, January 15, 2024 Posted in On the Job

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Travel nursing requires foresight and planning, especially for the annual considerations that fall outside a specific contract or assignment. One such consideration is insurance, which can get murky for travelers who aren’t familiar with the nuances of insurance policies and premiums.

From health and liability coverage to travel insurance, navigating the various options is essential for ensuring peace of mind and financial security while on assignment. This understanding helps not only in managing the practicalities of frequent travel but also in safeguarding against unforeseen circumstances that may arise in different locations and work environments.

Types of insurance for travel nurses

While it’s critical to have health, disability, and other types of insurance, the policies for these coverages can look a little different for travel nurses. The first step is determining which types of insurance you need:

  • Health: Health insurance covers medical expenses, with options from agency-provided plans to individual policies. Compare coverages and costs to find the best fit.
  • Professional liability: Professional liability insurance protects you financially if sued for mistakes in your nursing practice. This type of insurance is imperative for all nurses, especially travel nurses in new settings.
  • Workers’ compensation: Workers’ compensation provides benefits if you are injured on the job. It typically is provided by your employer, but check agency benefits or consider purchasing your own policy.
  • Disability: Disability insurance offers income if you’re unable to work due to long-term illness or injury. It is valuable for travel nurses who may lack employer-provided sick leave.
  • Travel: Travel insurance protects against financial losses from trip interruptions due to illness, injury, or unexpected events. It is especially helpful for travel nurses with tight schedules.

These coverages are just a starting point. Consider life, dental, and vision insurance to safeguard your well-being, as well as personal property insurance or umbrella policies to protect anything not covered under conventional policies.

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Agency-provided insurance policies

In many cases, your travel nursing agency will provide insurance as part of a benefits package — particularly policies for health and short- or long-term disability. This can be a convenient option, as the agency will handle the enrollment and billing process. Be sure to compare the coverage and costs of the agency plan to other options, as it may not be the most comprehensive or affordable choice.

If your agency doesn’t offer insurance — or if you want more control over your coverage — you can purchase individual or family insurance plans from an insurance company. Talking to an insurance broker or agent can be helpful for personalized advice.

Cost considerations and saving tips

Although the price you’ll pay for insurance as a travel nurse will vary based on your chosen coverage, there are ways to keep your costs as low as possible. Besides comparing providers for the best rates, take advantage of group discounts offered through nursing unions or other professional associations. Also, investigate multipolicy discounts if you’re buying several policies from the same provider.

Insurance is an important expense

Insurance can be a complicated topic. For travel nurses, the complexities only grow. Thankfully, with the right knowledge and approach, travel nurses can navigate the various options to ensure they’re adequately protected regardless of where their next contract takes them.

Have questions about the types of insurance travel nurses need? Contact a Health Providers Choice recruiter for resources and information to help demystify this important concept. We’ll make sure you have the peace of mind you deserve so you can focus on your next contract. Contact us online or call 888-299-9800 to learn more.

About the Author

Rose Torrento

Rosemarie Torrento has worked in health care for more than 26 years, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. Early in her nursing career, Torrento worked as a freelance contract nurse before accepting a position in nursing administration. During her 17-year tenure in that role, she oversaw nursing employment and travel nurse contracting at a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Michigan. Understanding the challenges travel nurses faced, Torrento founded Health Providers Choice Inc. (HPC) in 2003. Through Torrento’s extensive experience and her role as President and CEO, HPC provides travel placement of registered nurses and allied health professionals to hospital systems nationally.