Healthcare coverage options for locum tenens doctors


Are you in the market for healthcare coverage? Since being a locum tenens doctor qualifies you as an independent contractor you might be shopping around. New to the locum career path? One of our physician placement specialists will most certainly point you in the right direction of securing healthcare coverage but at the end of the day it's up to you.

Fear not though, it's not as difficult as you might think. There are many healthcare coverage options out there for locum tenens doctors. Here are some different routes you can take on the road to enrollment.

Does your spouse have a provider?

It's smart to look here first when considering health insurance. Why? It will probably be the most cost effective in the long run. If your spouse has a job and works at least 30 hours per week then they most likely have employer-sponsored healthcare coverage.

Be sure to ask your spouse's benefits administrator or their human resources department to see what it would take to add you on the plan. In fact, you could have your whole family on there, too, if you don't already. Keep in mind that premiums and deductibles may change with every family member added. Here's a nice step-by-step guide on how to go about adding a spouse to an employer-sponsored health plan.

Seek out the state insurance exchange marketplace

For the self-employed independent contractors out there might be the most likely place to purchase your coverage. This website will help direct you toward your respective state's insurance exchange marketplace. You can review all the plans offered in your state side-by-side, comparing benefits, premiums, out-of-pocket costs and deductibles all with the click of a button. And rest assured that all plans provided in the marketplace must offer these essential health benefits (as mandated by the Affordable Care Act):

  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization (like surgery and overnight stays)
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (but adult dental and vision coverage aren't essential health benefits)

Buy a private health plan

It's still possible to purchase healthcare coverage outside the state insurance exchange marketplace. You can buy directly from an insurance company, you can contact your individual insurance agent or broker for help, or you can visit a website like which offers the same type of side-by-side setup of plans that does.

You're also afforded the option of securing a short-term health insurance plan if you happen to miss the open enrollment period. Though keep in mind that you you'll get hit with a tax penalty at the end of the year. Under the ACA these types of plans aren't considered minimum essential coverage.

There's really no best route in seeking out a private health plan. Whether you choose to find out which private insurance companies operate in your state and then contact them individually or you want to speak with your agent as they may have advice on how to best bundle your insurance, it just depends on your preference. The important thing is that you get proper coverage with essential benefits. Find out more about private health plans.

Join a healthcare sharing plan

This last option may be one that you have never even heard about. Healthcare sharing plans - or healthcare sharing ministries (HCSM) - are not considered traditional insurance. Rather they're ministries that allow all those invested to share in their health expenses. According to their website the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries "serves Christians throughout the United States and many foreign countries, by enabling them to share health care cost."

These non-profit entities - Samaritan Ministries, Christian Healthcare Ministries, Medi-Share and Liberty HealthShare to name a few - all offer healthcare coverage that often costs far less than the insurance you'll find in the marketplace. Though sometimes they may offer a lower level of coverage, and pre-existing conditions may be an issue. The best approach would be to do some research of your own online to see if a healthcare sharing plan is right for you. Find out more about this type of coverage.

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