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  • Writer's pictureJo Soria

The Different Types of Health Insurance Nurses Need

Updated: May 18

Nurses and other healthcare professionals commit most of their time and energy to caring for others, but these critical workers also need care. Trusted Referral Network is here to shed light on the specific types of insurance nurses may need to help ensure their healthy lifestyles and the long-term sustainability of their careers.

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Working in the healthcare industry presents a unique set of needs and challenges. And if you're a nurse, you know better than we do that your profession can be demanding and even hazardous.


Taking proactive steps to research, understand, and prepare personal and professional safeguards can go a long way toward gaining extra peace of mind. Let's look at the types of insurance nurses may need and review some of the most common options.


RELATED: What to Know Before You Pick A Health Insurance Plan


Professional Liability Insurance Plans

Professional Liability Insurance is a type of coverage that can safeguard healthcare professionals against patient claims of negligence or personal injury. Every year, around 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice suits are filed, and claims involving nurses, particularly Registered Nurses, are rising. If a patient or their representative takes legal action after receiving care, nurses may find themselves navigating a stressful and expensive lawsuit.


A Professional Liability Insurance Plan can mitigate the financial hardships of working through a malpractice suit. Most private hospitals carry employer's liability and insurance plans, which should cover claims made against you. At the same time, you're employed there, but reviewing employer policies is crucial to understand the type and extent of coverage provided. The limits of employer coverage can matter significantly if a patient ever takes legal action against you; some don't find this out until too late.


Shopping for Your Own Liability Insurance

If you've carefully reviewed your employer's liability insurance policy and decided to explore adding some personal supplemental coverage for your peace of mind, here are some policy features to look for and compare:


License Defense Coverage

License Defense Coverage can assist with the costs of complaints made to your State Board of Nursing, which likely isn't covered by your employer's policy.


Personal Compensation

Your policy may cover lost wages for time spent in legal hearings, travel, and out-of-pocket expenses associated with a lawsuit.


Other Coverage

Your personal policy may also include coverage for property damage, first aid expenses or Good Samaritan acts, HIPAA violations, assault or workplace violence, or libel or slander. These key features may protect you past the limits of an employer-sponsored policy in the event of legal action, as complaints about misconduct generally aren't covered.

Male nurse travel at airport

Health Insurance for Travel Nurses

Travel nurses are some of the most skilled and highly adaptive professionals working today. Travel nurses cover staffing shortages wherever they may be, ensure continuity of care for diverse populations, and bring stability to strained hospitals and medical facilities. However, these nurses work on time-limited contracts and aren't considered permanent employees by the facilities they serve, so these hospitals aren't positioned to sponsor their health insurance. So how does a travel nurse attain coverage?


Fortunately, travel nurses have a few options for securing health insurance for themselves and their families.


Agency-Sponsored Insurance

While a nurse might not be directly employed by the hospitals they assist, they may work for an agency that coordinates and contracts them out to the hospitals. These agencies may provide health insurance coverage for the travel nurses they employ. However, it's still critical to review the plan options that are available to determine: 1. whether they're a fit and 2. whether supplemental coverage is needed.


Short-Term Health Insurance

If agency coverage is unavailable or inadequate, short-term coverage is another option. Short-term insurance is intended to cover you for a limited period and could be a good option if you need different coverage based on where you're staying. For example, someone with severe allergies or asthma might not need as much coverage in a humid climate. Still, if they plan to work at a hospital in a dry, arid climate for a few months, more coverage may be needed temporarily.


Marketplace Insurance

Another option when agency-sponsored insurance isn't available is to shop the Marketplace directly at healthcare.gov. The Affordable Care Act enacted the Marketplace and offered a wide range of individual and family plans. Remember that you only have specific windows of time—known as open enrollment and special enrollment periods—when you can attain coverage through the Marketplace, so it's essential to plan ahead and understand the available timelines. Check out our article on Marketplace eligibility and enrollment windows here.


Private Insurance

If you couldn't find the right coverage elsewhere or missed the Marketplace open enrollment window, you do have the option of policy shopping directly through private insurance carriers. The possibilities for private insurance coverage are extensive but likely much more expensive than Marketplace or employer-sponsored plans. We recommend teaming up with a licensed and trustworthy health insurance agent to explore the options available among private carriers further.


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What Kind of Plans Are Available?

Whether you're shopping the extensive options available in the Marketplace or choosing between a streamlined menu of employer-sponsored HMOs and PPOs, the goal is to secure the level of coverage you need and any additional plans you and your family may use.


Medical Coverage

Medical coverage generally comes to mind when we think about health insurance. Medical plans are clearly the foundation of care, whether you need just enough to cover your annual checkup or have an upcoming surgery or chronic condition that calls for high-level support.


Other Coverage

But while you're at it, don't forget about your options for:

  • Dental Insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • Life Insurance

  • Critical Illness Plans

  • Accident Plans

  • Supplemental Disability Plans

You may or may not ever need any of these supplemental plans for yourself or your family, but it's good to know that they're around if you need them.


Taking Care of the Caretakers

There are numerous factors to consider with any insurance decision—whether you're weighing the pros and cons of purchasing your liability insurance or choosing between dental plans. That's why Trusted Referral Network recommends seeking an expert advisor to help narrow your options and guide you to the hand-tailored plans that fit your needs.


If you need help finding that expert, that's where we come in. Our mission is to care for the healthcare professionals who take care of us by matching you with a trustworthy insurance agent. You don't have to figure this out alone—we've got your back.


NEXT: Mental Health Awareness Month

 

Want to be a guest blogger with the #TRN Team? We are looking for industry writers to contribute to our expert network. Reach out to jo@trustedreferral.org to get started.

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