If you want to figure out if going abroad will save you money, apply the $6,000 rule, says Patients Beyond Borders World Edition. If the total cost of your treatment (office visits, procedure and hospital stay) would be at least $6,000 more in the U. S. go outside the country. If the difference is less than $6,000, stay home.
Your health insurance plan may cover some or all of your procedure abroad. And it’s not like you’re doing anything sneaky. “Self-funded employers send employees overseas for medical procedures and treatments all the time,” says Joseph Harkins of the Medical Tourism Association in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
It’s cost-effective for them as well, Redford says.
HSM Solutions, a manufacturing company based in Hickory, North Carolina, has been sending employee patients abroad for about eight years, says its director of benefits, Tim Isenhower. Employees not only get their medical care abroad for free but also a bonus that equals 20 percent of what the company saved by not paying for the procedure in the U. S. Isenhower says the company started the program because of the high cost of health care in the U. S. “and the poor-quality care in the remote areas where HSM operates.”
Several hundred employees have taken advantage of the program, Isenhower says. ” We typically have a patient or two [abroad] at any given time. We have had as many as 10 patients within a two-week period.” Employees have gone abroad for orthopedic care (inpatient and outpatient), gastric procedures, neurologic procedures and general surgery.