Medical Tourism: The new choice of Americans

Max,who works for an auto parts manufacturing company in the North Carolina, needs a knee replacement. This costs more than $50,000 in the US. The company gave Max a choice – he can either opt fora co-pay in the U.S. or outsource the procedure abroad for free. Max has decided to go to Costa Rica, one of the emerging medical tourism destinations. He feels it’s safe and it comes for free, as his company picks up the bill. Even with their insurance, Max would have paid $3,000 out of pocket in the U.S., which he feels he wouldn’t have been able to afford.

Max is among a growing wave of Americans who now prefer to head abroad for medical procedures. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention nearly one million Americans go overseas for medical procedures every year. Once considered unconventional, medical tourism is gaining mainstream acceptance today. It has transformed into a billion-dollar industry attracting both patients and healthcare providers alike.

And now, some American companies are considering medical tourism as a health care option.

In the United States, a gastric sleeve surgery would have cost about $30,000, but in Costa Rice, it comes to $17,386. In some countries like Thailand or India, it could be much cheaper, almost with similar type of amenities and quality care one can expect in the US.

Cost of Care

The low costs of medical care abroad has more and more patients shopping for medical procedures. Take a look at the following figures:

Challenges

While it may sounds too good to be true, planning to travel overseas for treatment can be challenging. This is where medical travel facilitators come into play. These are professional agencies that help you with every aspect of your trip, right from searching the right medical consultant before you travel to providing accommodation and food assistance during your stay. Thus, these companies can greatly reduce the challenges that come from medical travel and make your trip a favorable one.

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