Superior is expanding the medical procedures employees can travel for to save money in the city’s self-funded health insurance policy.

Medical travel was established last year to incentivize travel outside of the Twin Ports to reduce the cost of orthopedic and spinal procedures. Travel expenses are reimbursed up to $1,000 and employees receive $500 in their health savings account to get care through less expensive providers in the Twin Cities area.

On Thursday, Oct. 14, the finance committee approved adding some cardiac procedures; gallbladder, hernia, cataract, tonsil and adenoid surgeries; and ear tubes as procedures eligible for the incentive program when performed through the HealthPartners high value network.

The additional procedures were recommended by the city’s health insurance committee, said finance director Ashley Puetz.

“We’ve only had one person so far take advantage of this program,” Puetz said. “In talking to our broker and HealthPartners both, a lot of these surgeries haven’t been happening because of COVID. That’s likely why we haven’t seen a large usage of this program.”

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Councilor Jack Sweeney said it’s important to make sure city staff are aware of the incentives.

Outreach efforts are ongoing and HealthPartners will alert city staff to the option if they seek a consultation on any of the incentivized procedures, Puetz said.