A growing number of people around the world are seriously considering a new phenomenon called “medical tourism” as a response to high costs and / or unavailable healthcare. Others who have already used medical tourism are praising it as a formidable solution to an ongoing problem.
If you don’t live in the U.S., you may still have some interest in medical tourism, maybe your health care provider doesn’t cover a procedure you want, or maybe the wait for the procedure is too long. For those people around the world without health insurance and with limited access to the health system, going to another country for a medical procedure could literally save your life.
The cost of medical care here in the United States is high and goes higher. However, the World Health Organization classifies the American health system as # 37 in the world. We are behind almost all European countries, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Colombia and Costa Rica.
So, you could survive your medical conditions and treatment. But will you survive financially when medical bills reach your door?
For a growing list of reasons, medical tourism is an idea whose time has come.
There are two important resources for medical tourism:
PlanetHospital started in 2002 as an overseas health care coordinator for uninsured people wishing to travel abroad because they could not or could not afford health care in the United States or their respective countries. Over time, with the spread of news about medical tourism, carriers, employers and self-insured groups started asking PlanetHospital to explore ways that would allow PlanetHospital to solve their dizzying health care costs problem. As a result, while maintaining their commitment to individual self-employed workers, they have expanded towards healthcare solutions. As a result, PlanetHospital has developed several products for the market over the past two years. Most of their products revolve around four basic needs:
1. Self-insured companies and their partners (such as Stop Loss agencies, TPA and MGU)
2. Uninsured and uninsured individuals
3. Health plans that need to control expenses
4. Immigrants and guest workers in need of affordable health care while working in the United States.
I warmly urge you to spend time visiting their website at: www.planethospital.com
HealthCare Tourism International
HealthCare Trip, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit service of HealthCare Tourism International, was launched on April 1, 2006 as a portal and service that connects all people interested in healthcare abroad with secure information and accreditations and effective. Furthermore, they have no financial partnership or agreements with operators, hospitals or for-profit health tourism providers, so that they can maintain a non-partisan approach to safe health services abroad. HCTI is the world’s first 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization specifically for the safety of healthy travel.
Visit their website at: www.healthcaretrip.org
Medical tourism includes many of the following medical specialties.
There are many therapeutic procedures with a long history of success that have not been approved and available in the United States. For example, German cancer specialists have alternative treatments that are much more successful than traditional American procedures. Other alternative medicines are found in heart disease, for example.
Nursing home / Long term care
In order for Medicare to pay for nursing home care, it has to basically break down (less than $ 2,500 in business). If you don’t have long-term care insurance, monthly costs can easily range from $ 3,000 to $ 5,000. In other countries, high-quality nursing care can be found for less than $ 50 a day.
Some of the most popular and widely used medical procedures are dental procedures. With only half of the American population covered by dental insurance, Americans stream overseas for low-cost, high-quality dental care. Medicare does not cover dental work and older people have older teeth that require more care than young people.
In some areas of Prague, Budapest, Bangkok and Tijuana, the streets are lined with dental clinics. The savings patients make can more than offset their travel costs. Tooth caps ranging from $ 750 to $ 1,000 in the United States cost $ 150 in Mexico. In Budapest, a high-quality crown costs $ 780, compared to $ 1,200 to $ 2,000 in the United States. In Britain the average cost of a plant is $ 3,500, but in Budapest you can do it for $ 1,000.
And the quality of the work? According to the nonprofit group Healthcare Tourism International, their patient surveys found high levels of satisfaction. But that shouldn’t be surprising. A spokesman for the College of Dentistry of New York University claims to bring over 100 dentists a year from 33 countries, train them in advanced procedures and send them home.
In March 2008, FOX News reporter Lori Lundin wrote a blog about her husband’s dental excursion to El Salvador. The quote they got in the United States for the dental work they needed was $ 60,000. They did the job in a world-class Salvadoran facility for around $ 19,000. She went through the procedures and felt no pain. They also spent a tropical vacation while there. Lundin calculated that the total cost, including travel and accommodation expenses, was $ 30,000.
Abdominoplasty, breast augmentation / reduction, face, liposuction, buttocks / thigh lifts and other cosmetic procedures can all be done through medical tourism.
Medical procedures include:
o Orthopedic surgery
o Cardiac surgery
or cancer / radiation
o Eye and vision
o Lung procedures
or … and many others
Pharmaceutical products outside the United States cost a small fraction of U.S. prices. For the most part, the manufacturer is the same one that could be found in an American pharmacy. Countries like India, Brazil and Thailand have huge generic pharmaceutical industries and many of their companies are importing products into the United States. Patients can save hundreds per year by purchasing drugs outside the United States.
One of the other benefits for medical tourism is that, depending on how long you stay for your medical procedures, you may be able to admire the attractions while you are being treated. Imagine you are on a Costa Rican beach while you wait for your dental work to be completed! Imagine being present at the Prague Symphony while in town for your medical treatment. Wonderful!
As with any major purchase, you need to research thoroughly before spending your money. Do not trust ANYONE just because the letters “MD” are affixed to his name or because he wears a white coat. Spend the time necessary to thoroughly investigate any medical provider. So make an informed decision.
Medical tourism can save you a lot of money and offer you world-class medical care and an unforgettable vacation. Good luck and good health!