The financial rewards of travelling abroad for medical treatment are so great that more and more Americans are choosing to have their operations overseas.
In a country where only one in five people actually hold a passport, vast numbers of people are travelling abroad for the very first time for complex medical procedures.
A recent Miami Herald investigation uncovered why so many Americans are choosing to have their treatment abroad. The primary reason is due to the astonishing financial rewards. The newspaper explained that growing numbers of Americans have limited or no health insurance.
Given the cost of medical treatment in America, it is little surprise that people are outsourcing complex medical operations to other countries. The Herald focused on two case studies of Americans who had ventured abroad. One North Carolina man with no health insurance required surgery to close a hole in his abdominal wall. He could not afford the $30,000 that the operation would cost in the US. He travelled to India for his operation. The cost of his entire 10-day trip -- including flights, accommodation and all of his medical expenses was less than $5,000.
And it isn’t just elective surgery where Americans are making savings. Dentistry abroad is also booming. A Miami woman outlined in a case study took her son to the Philippines to save on spending $£7,000 on his dental costs. Her trip, including dental work and two round-trip tickets bought at the last minute cost just over $3,000.
Medical tourism insurance
The boom in medical tourism has caught the eye of the US insurance industry. Several corporations are now investigating the possibility of including overseas medical treatments for employees with health insurance. Industry experts believe that savings of 60% are realistic – and that figure includes costs of airfare for both patient and companion, accommodation and the cost of the procedure.