Locum Tenens workers are considered independent contractors. There are important tax and insurance implications that these temporary physicians and nurses should be aware of.
Locum Tenens physicians differ in a variety of ways from full-time medical employees. Locums workers enjoy more flexible schedules, a better work-life balance, the opportunity to travel, and the ability to gain experience in any number of healthcare organizations.
Importantly, Locum Tenens workers are considered independent contractors. This means that their tax and insurance obligations differ from full-time employees, among other variances. There are, however, many great benefits that Locums physicians enjoy because of their status as independent contractors. If you are considering working as an independent contractor, consider the following information.
There is no set definition of an independent contractor, rather, to be considered under this employment status, several standards must be met. Locums workers are considered independent contractors because they are temporary, among other reasons. Because of this, healthcare organizations and recruiting agencies will not withhold taxes from a Locums worker’s paycheck. This means that these physicians will need to pay taxes quarterly based on their estimated income. It is important for Locums workers to consult an accountant to ensure that this is properly addressed.
On the upside, each paycheck that a physician receives will be larger than his or her full-time colleagues because of the absence of withholdings. Other benefits that Locums workers enjoy are deductions for business expenses, including vehicle mileage, business meals and entertainment, or accounting expenses.
As independent contractors, Locums workers aren’t entitled to typical employment benefits such as health and life insurance or disability coverage. Fortunately, these physicians are typically covered by medical malpractice insurance, which is taken care of before each assignment through the recruiting agency.
Furthermore, there are no specified paid sick days or vacation days. Locums workers, however, are able to set their own schedules, working as much or as little as they please. They can also choose the amount of time off between each assignment. Locums workers can consult with their recruiting agency if they have questions regarding the logistics of any assignment.
To learn more about the benefits of becoming a Locum Tenens worker, please feel free to contact us at Medstaff National Medical Staffing today. Our professionals will help you make the transition to this rewarding career.