Health Insurance for Travel Nurses

health insurance for travel nurses
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When I started travel nursing back in 2016, one of my main concerns was, “How do I get health insurance?”  Sure, my company offered it for each assignment, but depending on which company you’re working with – if you take a break, your insurance may lapse.  And as someone who likes to take a LOT of LONG breaks between contracts, I knew I needed to find a better solution.  Insert:  Apollo Health Insurance.  This guide will take you through the ins and outs of health insurance for travel nurses and discuss the benefits of choosing company insurance over private insurance so you can make the best choice for you and your family.

 

Do Travel Nurses Have Health Benefits?

Travel nurses do have health benefits but it’s dependent on the company that you’re working with.  For example:  some companies start coverage on day 1 of your assignment, and others don’t.  Some companies allow you to take 4 weeks off between assignments and still be covered, some don’t.  So when deciding if you want to take company insurance of private insurance (discussed more below), the biggest question you need to ask yourself is:  How much time and flexibility do you want between contracts without letting your health insurance lapse?

 

ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT DIFFERENT HEALTH PLANS?  CALL APOLLO HEALTH INSURANCE TODAY TO CHAT WITH A LICENSED AGENT.

 

Different Types of Health Insurance:  Company vs Private

As I mentioned earlier, as a travel nurse you can get health insurance one of two ways.  The first would be to get insurance through the travel nurse company you’re working with.  When you choose this option, your recruiter (or someone at the company) will walk you through their health insurance options and you’re able to choose the best choice for you.  The upside is that this is generally more affordable than private insurance.  The downside is that once your travel nurse contract is over, your insurance expires (date of expiration depends on your company policy so make sure to ask about this ahead of time).  You should also know that your overall travel nurse pay will be lower if you take company health insurance because a portion of your pay will come out of each paycheck to pay your insurance.  (Read:  Your Guide to Travel Nurse Pay).

Alternatively, if you choose to go the private health insurance route, the upside is that you have a little bit more control of your insurance and you’re able to keep it throughout the year even if your travel nurse contract ends and you take a break between assignments.  In my experience, this route is a little bit more expensive than company insurance, but I found it to be worth it simply because I take so many long breaks between assignments and it isn’t something that I want to worry about.  You should also know that with private health insurance, you’re able to completely customize your insurance plan!

 

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Apollo:  Health Insurance for Travel Nurses

As I mentioned above, I started travel nursing in 2016 and have done it on and off since.  I’ve used company insurance, I’ve found my own private healthcare agent, and finally I landed on Apollo Health Insurance which is not only a great fit for me, but in my opinion, it’s a great fit for the travel nurse industry as a whole.

Here are some of my favorite things about using Apollo…

  • Health insurance brokerage meaning they are licensed and contracted with more than one insurance company (currently, Apollo works with 150+ insurance companies)
  • Ability for short-term or long-term health insurance
  • Can customize plan and option to choose ancillary products
  • Dental and vision policies
  • Offer maternity coverage
  • Offer mental health coverage
  • Plans throughout 41 states (working towards being licensed in all 50 states)

 

STATES THAT APOLLO IS LICENSED IN

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

 

STATES THAT APOLLO IS NOT YET LICENSED IN

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

 

Why Should Travel Nurses Use Apollo?

When I was on the phone will Apollo to get health insurance for myself as well as ask about the company, my first question was, “What makes Apollo unique?”  The broker I worked with had the perfect answer which really summed up what makes me like this company.  In short, he said that Apollo takes a full-service approach.  The company wants to not only find appropriate insurance for each individual, but also wants to get to know each customer.  He said that this approach begins when you’re first hired onto the team at Apollo.  The founder of Apollo, Scott Eckley, had a goal to positively impact the lives of the people he was helping.  Every agent that works at Apollo is trained on health insurance, the industry, but most importantly – doing right by the client.  Apollo takes the approach that health insurance is more than a business transaction.  It’s people serving and caring about other people.

Another thing that I appreciate about Apollo is that there is an entire claims team on staff to help you fight any hospital bills that don’t add up or just help you if anything goes wrong.  This means that you don’t have to get on the phone and deal with it yourself, a team member of Apollo will do it for you.

 

Health Insurance Brokerage

Apollo is a health insurance brokerage and according to HealthCare.gov, “A broker represents several companies”; versus an agent may represent only one health insurance company.  The reason it’s good to work with a broker is because a broker represents a client (you) versus representing the health insurance company.  Apollo works with 150+ health insurance companies which means that there truly is a plan for everyone depending on what your needs and desires are.

 

Short-Term vs Long-Term Health Insurance

Apollo offers both short-term and long-term health insurance.  This is another great option for travel nurses because maybe you don’t know whether you want company or private insurance so you take company insurance and then for your break between travel assignments, you use Apollo to cover you during your break.  Or you don’t want company insurance at all and you go with the short-term plan (if no pre-existing conditions) or long-term health insurance plan.

 

Short-term health insurance lasts from 1 month-3 years and is for emergency purposes – not for people with pre-existing conditions

 

Ancillary Product + Vision & Dental = Customizable Health Coverage

With Apollo you can completely customize your health insurance plan.  This means you can sign up for a plan and then supplement it with ancillary products, vision insurance, or dental insurance.  Some of the plans Apollo has includes…

  • Private health plans
  • Group health
  • Short term plans
  • Health shares
  • Life insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Medicare

 

Non-US Citizens Using Apollo

It’s also important to know that Apollo offers insurance for non-US citizens.  I know a lot of travel nurses from Canada come to the US to work and Apollo will cover you as long as the person is in the country legally and not incarcerated.  (This applies to workers who are not from Canada too).

 

Travel Nurse Essentials

FOR HOUSING

FOR RECRUITERS

  • Fill out this form to be matched with a senior level recruiter at Host Healthcare
  • DM me on Instagram for my go-to recruiter at Fusion

FOR TRAVELING TO/DURING YOUR ASSIGNMENT

FOR WORK

TO EXPLORE YOUR NEW “HOME”

 

Health insurance for travel nurses can feel like a tricky and overwhelming topic.  Whether or not you want to get your own private insurance, there is no harm in talking to a broker at Apollo to explore your options.  If you have any questions about health insurance or travel nursing in general, let me know in a comment below!

 


For more information and inspiration on all things nursing and travel nursing, make sure to check out my Instagram page/highlight reel by searching “#ppinscrubs” or under my highlights for “Nursing” or “Travel Nursing”; alternatively, head to my TikTok and search for the saved “Nursing” or “Travel Nursing” highlight


 

A huge thank you to Apollo Health Insurance for sponsoring this post and answering all of my health insurance questions.  As always, all views and opinions are my own.

 

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Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no cost to you.  Passports and Preemies is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees.

 


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Kylee is a NICU nurse passionate about making travel affordable and accessible to nurses. Inspiring nurses to travel both near and far, Kylee began Passports and Preemies in 2017 while volunteering in Skopje, North Macedonia as a way to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Kylee has been a NICU nurse for 9 years and a travel nurse for 7 years. Since starting her career in travel nursing, she’s worked in six different states, 10 different hospitals, volunteered as a nurse in North Macedonia, worked as a nurse in Saudi Arabia, and has traveled to 45+ countries. Her favorite travel nurse assignment was in Seattle and her favorite destination is Georgia (the country). Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – a vacation geared towards nurses who aim to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

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