The base of any pay package starts with the bill rate, the amount of money a facility offers for a traveler to work for them. Healthcare staffing agencies then use the following equation to calculate the "pot of money" available for your assignment:
(bill rate) x (# of hours per week you will work) x (# of weeks in the assignment)
Every healthcare staffing agency uses the same calculation and starts with the same pot of money per job order. However, what FlexCare does with this pot of money is where we differentiate ourselves – this is what we call our High-Pay, Hassle-Free philosophy.
We do not base the paychecks of FlexCare recruiters on how much our clinicians are getting paid. Therefore, they have a vested interest in finding you an assignment you are happy with and maintaining the longevity of your travel career with FlexCare. As far as your pay goes, the more money the facility offers, the higher your weekly pay will be! All extra money goes to those who deserve it most – the travel nurses, allied health clinicians, therapists, and LVNs / LPNs.
A pay package has three primary components:
- Base Pay Wages (taxable)
- Meals and Incidentals Stipend (tax-exempt)
- Housing Stipend (tax-exempt)
Stipends are a big part of what makes traveling so lucrative but are also something you must qualify for.
A stipend is a sum of money designated by county and state that the GSA allows as tax-exempt. These stipends are awarded to cover the costs of housing, meals, and incidentals while you are working away from your permanent tax home and duplicating living expenses.
Any person traveling away from their claimed tax home for work and incurring costs that they would not normally incur if they were working at home is eligible for a certain amount of tax-exempt money for expenses such as lodging, meals, and incidentals.
You are only eligible for tax-exempt stipends if you meet two of the three following criteria:
- You maintain a job in the area of your claimed tax home and earn significant income.
- You incur significant monthly expenses to maintain a dwelling that you use for lodging at your claimed tax home. i.e.: paying fair market value for rent on assignment as well as at your claimed tax home (duplicating your cost of living).
- You frequently return to your claimed tax home and/or have lineal family members living at your claimed tax home.
Connect with your S1NGLEPOINT Recruiter to clarify your eligibility.
At FlexCare, we can reimburse you for anything you need, such as license and certification fees, housing, travel expenses, etc. However, it's important to note that these reimbursements will reduce your weekly pay, as they are deducted from your initial "pot of money." Would you rather get the most money up front each week or have FlexCare allocate some of it as a reimbursement instead?
Most other healthcare staffing agencies advertise their reimbursements as "free." However, before offering you your pay package, they deduct a portion of it to create a reimbursement fund that is used as a buffer for any reimbursements you may ask for later. In short, they allocate your money but call it a “reimbursement” or a “bonus.”
Think about it: If an agency were to pay out of pocket for a $200 BLS of 5,000 healthcare travelers, they would spend $1 Million for BLS alone. Does that seem reasonable?