HICKORY, N.C. — HSM and its global healthcare option were recently featured in news segments on ABC’s "World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Nightline."
HSM is a manufacturer of components for and a provider of integrated solutions to the transportation, furniture and bedding markets, among others.
HSM designed a program five years ago that offers its employees the option of traveling to Costa Rica or India for medical procedures. To date, close to 250 employees have taken advantage of the program, saving the company almost $10 million in insurance costs.
The ABC news segments, which aired Sept. 30, followed two HSM employees as they traveled to Costa Rica for weight loss and knee replacement surgery. In both cases, surgeries that would have reportedly cost each employee $3,000 in out-of-pocket expenses if performed in the U.S. were completed in Costa Rica at no cost to either employee.
The employees also received checks for at least $2,500 upon their return home — a percentage of the money HSM saved in insurance costs by sending the employees outside the country for their procedures.
"HSM is definitely realizing significant savings when employees take advantage of this program," said Tim Isenhower, director of benefits at HSM. "Global healthcare enables us to remain competitive as we improve efficiencies and keep our costs down."
Participating employees are also benefiting from the program. Many are able to access procedures they otherwise could not have afforded. Officials said the procedures are not costing them anything in out-of-pocket expenses because HSM pays for everything: passports, airline tickets, accommodations in a four-star resort hotel before and after their procedure, a personal driver, a patient assistant to assist with forms, answer questions and help with translation, a private room in a private hospital, scheduled consultations with their surgeon and the procedure itself.
They also receive a check for 20% (up to $10,000) of what HSM saves as a result of their decision to go abroad for their procedure.
"Our global healthcare program makes good economic sense, and it demonstrates another innovative approach HSM has taken to the challenges many companies face today," added Dave Colburn, HSM president and CEO. "If we can contain insurance costs and still deliver quality healthcare to our employees, then everybody wins."