Healthcare reform won’t stop people from going to Thailand for a boob job or Mexico for a hip replacement.
Actually, it means that you might have to.
The Medical Tourism Association predicts increased use of international treatment among insurers, as expanded coverage pushes up costs.
“Companies could not bear the cost of health insurance as it is, and they certainly won’t be able to once cost skyrockets,” said association CEO John Edelheit.
Indeed, major insurers like Aetna have already launched medical tourism pilot programs, so they can cover you while also saving a buck.
But getting sent abroad for treatment isn’t so bad.
Edelheit predicted a growing trend of medical tourism to Europe, along with continued improvement to hospitals worldwide.
Medical tourism slowed during the recession as people declined elective procedures, but it will pick up again in 2010
Thailand sees nearly 1.5 million medical tourists each year, for treatment at 30% of U.S. cost.
Bumrungrad is the largest private hospital in Southeast Asia. It recently made medical tourism its focus.
Nearly half a million medical tourists go to India each year, for treatment at 20% of U.S. cost.
Apollo Hospital is the largest private health care provider in Asia. It has partnered with John Hopkins on recent heart disease studies.
Singapore sees nearly half a million medical tourists each year, for treatment at 35% of U.S. cost.
The National Cancer centre offers state-of-the-art cancer treatment, often in advance of what is legal in the U.S.
Costa Rica is a prime destination for Americans who want cosmetic and dental surgery at 30-40% of U.S. cost.
CIMA Hospitals is affiliated with and integrated as a teaching college with Baylor University's medical school.
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