Working locum tenens provides many opportunities, from a more flexible schedule to higher earning potential. Yet without a permanent position, you might be wondering if you’ll have access to benefits like healthcare or a retirement savings plan. While physicians working locums are independent contractors and need to take care of their own insurance, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) who work for Weatherby are considered W-2 employees, which makes them eligible for full benefits. Weatherby offers all locum tenens NPs and PAs a flexible benefits package that’s easy to sign up for and starts on day one of your assignment.
Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about Weatherby’s health benefits for locum tenens PAs and NPs:
What’s my employment status?
All NPs and PAs working locum tenens through Weatherby are considered traveler employees and receive a W-2. This makes you eligible for benefits through Weatherby as well.
Do my benefits provide coverage right away?
Yes. Weatherby provides NPs and PAs with day-one coverage — that means you have access to all your benefits the very first day you work with us.
What benefits can I receive?
Weatherby offers a variety of benefits for locum tenens NPs and PAs. These include:
- Three PPO insurance plans to choose from, with varying deductible limits and premium costs. Plans are made more affordable due to a generous employer contribution.
- Dental, prescription, and vision insurance.
- Teladoc, a telemedicine app with 24/7 service. The app gives you access to board-certified primary care physicians and mental health services at no cost.
- Optum EAP, an employee assistance program that offers free consultations on financial matters, mental health concerns, and other areas where you may need support or assistance.
- Company-paid basic life insurance of $50,000.
- Access to a 401(k) plan through Fidelity Investments. Weatherby will match 50% of the first 8% you contribute.
- Optional pet insurance.
- PerkSpot benefits, including discounts on airfare, ride share, cell phone services, clothing, and entertainment.
Healthcare benefits are managed by AmeriBen, a third-party administrator that is available 24/7.
How do I sign up for benefits?
You’ll have 30 days from the start of your assignment to enroll in coverage. To sign up, look for an email with a link to your benefits portal where you can review your options and elect coverage.
Note that it’s best to sign up sooner rather than later. Since your benefits are effective on the first day of your assignment, waiting too long to elect coverage may require you to make up for missed premium payments in subsequent paychecks.
Who can use these benefits?
If you elect coverage, you can extend it to your spouse or same- or different-sex domestic partner as well as your dependent children (up to age 26). Your rates will vary depending on how many individuals are covered under the plan.
How does a gap in my employment affect my coverage?
At Weatherby, you can keep the same coverage, even when you’re not working, provided the time between assignments is less than 31 days. As long as you begin a new assignment within this time period, there is no gap in your coverage. However, keep in mind that the cost of premiums accrued during the gap will be paid out of your next assignment’s paychecks.
If you have a longer gap between assignments or decide to discontinue working with Weatherby, you’ll still be eligible for COBRA continuation of coverage for your health benefits. You can elect COBRA coverage for up to 18 months; however, Weatherby will no longer contribute to your premiums once your employment ends.
When can I make changes to my benefits?
Every time you begin a new contract or assignment, you’re eligible to make changes to your benefits. This means you’re not obligated to remain on a specific plan or wait until an open enrollment period to change your elections. Being able to cancel or enroll in different benefits for each new assignment adds yet another element of flexibility to your locums employment.
Who can I talk to if I have more questions?
For more detailed information on Weatherby’s health benefits for locum tenens, speak with your consultant or contact the Weatherby people services team directly at 800.811.1796.
Interested in learning more about working as locum tenens PA or NP? Give us a call today at 954.343.3050 or view today’s job opportunities by clicking below.