I’m always looking for content to put on the page and recently realized that the emails I receive are probably better travel information than the stories I try to tell. So, without further adieu, the second installment of our Q&A.
I like the question that this email asks, The new traveler asked about the finances of travel, and whether there’s really all that much to gain when the expense of travel, furnished apartments, and moving several times per year are all added up. You’ll see my response below, but I’m afraid I downplayed an important point. For me, the extra pay with traveling PT is just a bonus. I do traveling for the adventure, locations, change of pace, and fun of it. Just wanted to be clear. 🙂
Thanks for your last email. I wanted to ask, since you use more than one company for jobs, how do you handle benefits e.g. health insurance, time off etc. I wonder if the higher pay of travel just gets eaten up by not getting a paid vacation, health insurance etc.
Although I am interested in seeing other places, what I most want is to make money to pay off my student loans!
I do carry my own health insurance. From a lot of companies I’m able to get another $1/hr for not needing their insurance. My wife got short-term insurance for a while. At esurance.com you can get insured 6 months at a time. The way to combat having to get your own insurance is to stick with one company – some of them are real sticklers about being back working for them within 14 days between contracts. If you are jumping around between companies like I do and you have a major health issue between assignments, I believe you can retroactively enact COBRA for up to 60 days, so there is that safety net.
You’re right that there are costs to travel – no PTO, moving expenses, etc. I think my wife and I break even compared to working a full-time perm job. But, on the other hand, we take a lot of time off each year. In the last two years I’ve probably taken 15 weeks off. If you are diligent about getting right into a new assignment following the assignment before, there’s a potential to get quite a ways ahead financially…. Another way you can maximize your pay is by actively seeking out the higher paying assignments which are typically in more rural areas and less desirable settings. If you’re a new PT, I’d probably skip seeking out these assignments at first, but later on they can be a great way to make some cash, see some different social/cultural situations, and expand your comfort level on a wider scope of practice.
Hope this helps!!!
Note: I originally had responded in this email saying COBRA could be enacted 90 days after losing employer sponsored health coverage, the limit is actually 60 days as corrected above. Here is the department of labor’s website of FAQ’s on COBRA. If you jump from recruiter to recruiter without your own insurance, it’s probably really good information for you to know. http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-consumer-cobra.html