Navigating Health Insurance as a Travel Nurse

By PeterLogan

As nurses, you understand the significance of having health insurance; however, finding coverage while travelling for work may prove challenging. Although most travel nurse companies provide this benefit package to their employees, it’s still wise to familiarise yourself with all your available options prior to making your final selection. My Private Health Insurance has been operating since 2016 and pride themselves in offering health insurance for a first time travel nurse service in the insurance industry, while still providing personalized attention and an enjoyable one-on-one experience for their members. From private plans through agency options available options; here’s all you need to know regarding health insurance in travel nursing:

Private Health Insurance

Travel nurses looking for private health insurance often turn to private providers when an agency’s services don’t suit them or they plan on switching agencies frequently. While this option might be more costly, you are more likely to find something tailored to your specific needs and circumstances than with an agency plan.

Agency Health Benefits

Many agencies provide health benefits packages as part of the benefits plan, making this an excellent alternative for nurses who would rather remain with one company. Before accepting a health insurance policy from any of these agencies, however, you should ask several key questions in advance.

How Does Travel Nursing Health Insurance Work?

Travel nursing and health insurance can be confusing concepts to grasp, since nurses working as travel nurses often filling hospital staff requirements worldwide and having no permanent home base themselves makes securing health coverage challenging.

Health insurance options for travel nurses

Just because you are a travel nurse does not mean that your health insurance will suffice. Staff nurses typically obtain health coverage through the hospital or clinic where they work; however, nurses who travel may find obtaining coverage more challenging, due to short-term contract employees not qualifying for coverage provided by hospitals; therefore travel nurses need other methods – either through insurance provided through agencies or private plans.

Short-term health insurance: Guide for traveling nurses

Short-term health insurance coverage is an ideal solution for nurses who travel often. In general, short-term policies will cover your medical needs for specific time frames – an ideal option if you plan to work at one hospital or clinic for multiple months at once.


Health plans designed for short-term use tend to be less expensive than their long-term counterparts, and can be customized specifically to your healthcare needs. They’re also flexible enough to cover shorter assignments than planned – perfect for nurses traveling on short assignments!


Short-term insurance plans could exclude coverage for existing conditions and prevent important health benefits from being included in their policies, so make sure that you fully understand them prior to purchasing one so you have enough protection.

Private health insurance: Guide for traveling nurses

Nurses looking for health coverage for themselves or their dependents with health concerns. Private health insurance offers nurses an ideal solution.


Private health plans from reliable insurance providers can be ideal for nurses who travel. You will be able to easily schedule annual physicals with reasonable deductibles.

Policyholders of these plans enjoy peace of mind knowing what’s covered or not and can even benefit nurses with preexisting ailments which their agency policy might not cover.


Travel nursing offers many advantages, but also has drawbacks. Even though an individual travel nurse might have private health insurance, that does not guarantee coverage throughout all fifty states; some plans might not adapt well and be adaptable enough for use when working full time as a travel nurse.

Private health insurance premiums tend to be significantly higher than agency coverage, often costing close to double what an agency could charge. A major drawback with private coverage could include its lack of coverage.

Contracts for travel nurses often start and end unexpectedly, and certain insurance companies have specific guidelines on coverage. Your health insurance may take effect the first day on a contract but other plans won’t take effect until 15th day. Some policies allow coverage to expire upon termination while others might require it all remain active throughout its entire term.

Agency-provided health insurance: Guide for traveling nurses

Contract personnel don’t tend to work on an hourly basis like employees do and usually contract with organizations before moving onto other facilities and jobs.


Many nursing organizations provide health insurance coverage to employees. If you can find an agency offering this, it can be hugely advantageous; no need to shop around like with private plans as the plan typically applies to all staff at once.


Limited coverage is one of the greatest challenges associated with signing up for health insurance through an agency. Although some policies take effect immediately, others won’t take effect until late in a job assignment period – leaving nurses without coverage for part or all of that month.

Considerations should also be given when accepting insurance through agencies to your deductible limits may change if employed by multiple agencies simultaneously. Travel nurses tend to collaborate between agencies in order to maximize their salaries. For example, if using out-of-network providers requires paying a $1,000 deductible through one agency and only $500 through other two combined.

Under such circumstances, your first $1,000 deductible payment won’t be reimbursed back to you and if you leave an agency early without being covered for health insurance as your policy was linked directly to them.