One of the biggest misconceptions about travel nursing is that you have to fly solo when it comes to healthcare and benefits and things like 401Ks and we’re here to tell you: not true.
In addition to all the perks and benefits of being a travel nurse: higher pay, schedule flexibility, more nursing experience, travel nurses get a lot of the same traditional benefits staff nurses get such as health, vision, and dental insurance along with 401K benefits.
Typical Benefit Packages for Travel Nurses
Many compensation packages will include: health, dental, vision, disability, life insurance, 401K with a match, paid sick leave, COBRA, worker’s compensation, a health savings account (HSA), travel and certification reimbursement, signing and/or completion bonuses, referral bonuses and additional benefits like gym memberships and mental healthcare options.
Our best advice is definitely to shop around the various travel agencies to see who has what you’re looking for. Of course, benefits will differ between travel agencies – and we can’t speak to the details of what everyone offers – but we can dive into the details of the benefits you’ll receive as a travel nurse at Next Move Inc.
It’s important to note here, like with any benefits package (whether you’re a staff nurse or a travel nurse), any benefits you receive will end when your contract ends. At Next Move benefits can be extended with consecutive contracts.
Travel Nursing Benefits at Next Move: How They Work
Next Move Inc provides optional health coverage to all travel nurses, and that coverage begins on day one of your contract. 401K benefits start approximately 1 month after your start date. Your coverage will cover you, your spouse, domestic partner, and dependent children (under the age of 26). A dependent child who depends on you due a physical or mental handicap, is eligible to enroll regardless of age.
Your insurance will continue so long as you’re in an active contract – and can be extended when and if you sign another consecutive contract. Meaning – if you work a 13-week contract your benefits will last for 13 weeks unless you sign up for another travel contract that immediately follows your first contract – at which point your benefits will be extended for that 2nd contract. The same goes with 3rd and 4th contracts.
If however, you do not sign up for a consecutive contract (e.g. decide to take a few weeks or few months off in between contracts) your benefits will end on the last day of your original contract and start again on the 1st day of your next contract. Much like other agencies – Next Move does offer COBRA to cover those gaps in between assignments.
At Next Move we offer 3 different types of medical plans:
$1,000 Deductible Gold Choice Plus Network
$5,000 Deductible Silver Choice Plus Network
$6,250 Deductible Bronze HSA Choice Plus Network
Rates Depend on Age
The rates for each of these plans depend upon the age of the participant. (See chart below.)
Here’s an example
If a person is 40 years old and wants the Silver Plan, their cost will be $137.00 per month for medical insurance.
40-Year-Old with Spouse
For couples, it’s as simple as just adding the age line for the employee to the age line for their spouse (or domestic partner). So, if a 40-year-old person wants the Silver Plan (137.00 / month) and their spouse is 38 (Silver Plan 133.57 per month) then their total would be $270.57 per month (133.57 + 137.00)
40-Year-Old with Spouse & Children
For families, you’ll want to add in the cost of the spouse and children. If a 40-year-old has a partner that’s 38-years old – those two costs will be added together (see example above) and the cost for children will be $107.20 per month, per child, up to 2 children. No additional costs are added for additional children. (Children are considered to be any child under the age of 26). Using this example: the employee, the spouse, and 3 children will equal: $484.97 per month. ($137.00 for employee + $133.57 for spouse + $107.20 for child 1 + $107.20 for child 2 + $0.00 for child 3).
Optional vision insurance is a bit more straight forward and rates don’t change based on age. Whether you’re in or out-of-network, some (if not most) of the cost of eye exams, eyeglasses and contacts are covered. See chart below for details.
Much like the vision insurance Next Move offers, most if not all of the cost of dental services are covered depending on whether or not you’re in or out of network. See chart below for details.
Next Move has a 401K plan that has an immediate vesting period. It begins at the 1st of the month, after your start date (unless you opt out). Even if you left after 3, 6, or 12 months you’d still get all the contributed matching funds. Next Move matches your contribution percentage up to 4% of your taxable salary. To break it down for you:
Suppose your taxable hourly rate is $25.00 per hour (which equals $900 per week on a 36-hour contract) and you decide to contribute 4% of your income ($36.00) per week to your 401K. Next Move will also contribute that 4% ($36.00) to your 401K. At the rate of $72 per week, over the course of a year, that‘s a total contribution of $3,744.00, whereas without the match it would only be a contribution of $1,872.00
Next Move Inc offers Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) with annual contribution limits of $3,550 for individuals and $7,100 for families. HSAs are a triple threat because they (1) are tax deductible, (2) your savings grows tax free, and (3) any money you take out for medical expenses is income tax-free.
There is also no “use-it or lose-it” rule when it comes to HSAs. Your money is there and stays there until you use it. This means even if you change jobs, change medical coverage, become unemployed, move to another state, get a divorce – your money will still be available.
Even More Coverage
Next Move also offers all its employees Critical Illness Insurance (such as heart attack, stroke, organ transplant, etc.) Short Term Disability Insurance, and Voluntary Life and AD&D Coverage.
Take the Benefits to a Whole Other Level
In addition to all of the above, Next Move also provides the IRS maximum allowable travel stipend for all assignments, licensure and certification reimbursement, referral fees for qualified RNs and a lucrative Ambassador Program.
Travel stipends vary by location but can be anywhere from $1,057 to $1,499 per week. This money is tax free and is not counted on your yearly taxable wages.
Next Move offers $500 for every qualified RN referral (who gets hired) and a $1,500 bonus or free paid vacation (a value of $1,500) for the 5th qualified referral.
*It’s important to note that referral fees are given out after the referred RN is one week into his or her contract.
Next Move offers RNs who work multiple, consecutive contracts a free, all-expense paid vacation to a destination of their choice. A $2,500 value!
Other Options for Healthcare Coverage
It is also totally possible to go the private insurance route when considering benefits either through a private carrier or the Healthcare.gov marketplace.
The private insurance route would eliminate the need to extend your current coverage or having to worry about signing up for insurance every time you start a 13-week contract or worrying about that in between period between contracts.
Also, if you have a specific medical condition, private insurance will provide you the security of knowing that condition is covered. Private insurance also provides the benefit of only having to meet your deductible once per year whereas with each new insurance plan – comes a new deductible. So, for example if you work 3 contracts a year – but take off a month in-between assignments – you’ll need to sign up for health coverage 3 different times – and always be subject to meeting that deductible with each plan. Private insurance – could keep costs down in the long run.
The downside of private insurance (depending on your circumstances) is that it can often be more expensive than what is offered by a travel agency. Another downside is that private insurance may not work in every state you travel to (think about out-of-network costs).
If you don’t actually need healthcare coverage because you’re covered through your partner or family – we’re surprised you got this far in our little blog! The good news is – you’re not required to accept any healthcare coverage through your travel agency. And as such – may even be able to negotiate a higher hourly rate!
Next Move also offers the ability to enroll in health insurance coverage in the middle of a contract, should a life-changing event arise. Speak to one of our recruiters about details!
To receive a copy of our full benefits package, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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