Travel dialysis jobs are a great way to make a career change and do what you love. However, if you’re considering becoming a traveling dialysis professional, you might be wondering about health insurance. In this guide, we’ll discuss important information you should know about health insurance before you start traveling, including the many options available for health insurance for travel dialysis jobs. Read on to learn more.
What are Travel Dialysis Jobs
Travel dialysis jobs are a unique career option for dialysis professionals like technicians, nurses, dieticians, and social workers. These jobs are temporary contracts where you work for a facility for a certain period of time. Usually, it’s about 13 weeks, but it can be longer or shorter. It all depends on the facility’s needs.
Unlike with permanent positions, travel dialysis jobs are designed to help facilities fill staffing gaps for things like staff members leaving for different opportunities, taking leave, or being terminated. In these cases, it leaves the facility understaffed, which affects both staff and patients. Instead, many facilities choose to hire travelers for a period of time until they can fill the position or until the person can return. In some cases, it may even be that they have a sudden influx of patients that they don’t have the bandwidth to care for, and therefore need extra help temporarily.
With these jobs, you can travel across the country and often make more than staff dialysis professionals. This makes it a desirable opportunity for many people looking for adventure, better pay, and also to increase their experience.
Health Insurance with Travel Dialysis Jobs
One thing many people wonder about for travel dialysis jobs is how health insurance works. As a healthcare professional, you know better than anyone how important it is to look after your health and have insurance in case you need treatment. The good news is that there are health insurance options as a traveling healthcare professional. Even though assignments are temporary, that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck without access to medical insurance coverage. The key is to choose the right option for you.
Health Insurance Options for Travel Dialysis Jobs
There are many options for health insurance as a traveling dialysis professional, including:
- Agency provided insurance
- Private or ACA health plans
- Joining a spouse’s insurance
- Short-term health insurance
- COBRA plans from a previous employer
Each comes with its pros and cons, so make sure you understand them to make the right choice for yourself and your family.
Agency Provided Health Insurance
While not all agencies offer health insurance, AHS RenalStat does. We offer full medical and dental benefits when you find a dialysis job with us. We keep you covered as you travel to different areas taking different assignments that fit you best.
There are several advantages to choosing agency provided health insurance. One is that it tends to be cheaper than other options and also generally offers good coverage. Also, it takes a lot of the legwork out of the equation for you, since you don’t need to research plans. All you need to do is tell us you want insurance and take care of some paperwork and we’ll handle everything from there.
One potential drawback is that the coverage may not be the perfect fit for you. Rarely, it may be that you have certain health concerns that the plan doesn’t cover as well as you would like. In these cases, then it may be better to find a different solution for your health insurance needs. So, ask your recruiter for an information package on the health insurance plan to make sure it’s the right fit for you.
Private/ACA Insurance Plan
Another option you have for insurance during travel dialysis jobs is to get your own health plan. Usually, you can do this through your home state’s marketplace or through an insurance broker. Getting your own plan puts you in charge of which plan you choose and, therefore, the type of coverage you get. You also don’t need to worry about changing insurance in case you decide to take an extended leave of absence or switch to a different agency.
However, this option does require a lot of research and work on your part. You’ll want to make sure the insurance covers anywhere you plan to travel. Also, these plans tend to be more expensive than choosing agency provided health insurance, as you’re paying the full premium on your own.
There are also very specific times when you can sign up for these plans. One option is to wait until open enrollment, which is usually at the end of the year. Otherwise, you’ll need to qualify for a special enrollment period with a qualifying event, such as:
- Losing your insurance coverage (like because of leaving your job, losing Medicare eligibility, or turning 26)
- Moving outside of your insurance coverage geographical range
- Getting married or divorced
- Having or adopting a child
In these cases, you usually have about 60 days from the event to enroll in one of these insurance plans.
Spouse’s Health Insurance Plan
If your spouse has insurance through their job, then you might also want to enroll in a family plan. This offers similar advantages to a private plan. For instance, you will keep your coverage even if you switch jobs, as long as your spouse keeps their insurance coverage. There’s also less research because, like agency provided insurance, the company does all the research for you.
However, this also means that you have less control over the type of coverage you have. Additionally, while this option is usually less expensive than private insurance plans, it tends to be a little more expensive than agency provided insurance because you’re probably paying for a family plan.
Short-Term Health Insurance
Another insurance option for travel dialysis jobs is short-term health insurance. These plans usually last for three to six months before you renew them. They are great if you have a small gap in insurance, such as if you have some time between quitting your old job and getting a travel dialysis job. Some people choose to keep these as a longer-term solution, but there are several drawbacks to this.
One is that these plans tend to be quite expensive. They often cost more long-term than other options on this list. Also, they generally don’t cover pre-existing conditions. So, if you already have a health problem, they generally won’t pay for anything related to it. Also, keep in mind you renew it every three to six months. So, any new diagnoses are often pre-existing conditions as well.
COBRA Health Insurance
If you had health insurance through a previous job, then you can often COBRA the insurance. This basically means that you stay on the plan for a certain period of time, even though you’ve left the company. Companies usually must offer COBRA as a way to prevent gaps in insurance coverage when people change jobs. This way, you keep the same plan that you’ve had while you look for other options.
However, keep in mind that this option is usually expensive. In fact, you generally pay 100% of the plan premium as well as an additional 2% administrative fee. Also, you’re limited to 18 months, with some situations for extensions. So, it’s not a long-term solution if you plan to take travel dialysis jobs for years to come.
Find a Dialysis Job with Top Pay & Benefits from AHS RenalStat
If you’re ready to find a dialysis job with top pay, good benefits, and adventure, get in touch with our team at AHS RenalStat. We specialize in dialysis staffing, so we really understand your needs. Our team works directly with you to find jobs that match your goals and needs. Whether you’re looking for travel dialysis technician jobs or travel dialysis nurse jobs, we have access to thousands of opportunities, with new postings every day. Your goals are our goals and we offer the support you need for everything from finding jobs to housing and credentialing. Browse our job board or contact our recruiters today!