If you are facing a surgical procedure and don’t have medical insurance, consider becoming a medical tourist. One patient saved $30,000 on a surgery by looking at other regions in the United States.
According to Chris Taylor of Reuters, speaking of patient Jim Kucera:
Then, he came across the encouraging idea of being a medical tourist closer to home – right here in the United States.
“I’d never heard of that before,” says the 63-year-old Kucera.
He connected with North American Surgery, an intermediary firm that hospitals hire to market their services to out-of-pocket payers, and it found him a better deal. Late last year, Kucera’s hip replacement procedure was done – in Oklahoma City – for less than $20,000, including flights and hotels.
The idea of medical tourism has gained currency in recent years, encouraging patients to explore their options.
Some patients travel abroad. There are hospitals in Asia or India catering to the western patient. Luxury accomodations are included in the medical tourist package for pre- and post-surgical stays.
That’s spurred about 700,000 Americans to travel abroad each year for medical treatment, according to Josef Woodman, author of the book “Patients Beyond Borders.”
For the less adventurous, however, jetting to India or Singapore for medical care is a bridge too far.
One problem with traveling abroad for medical care: if a procedure goes wrong, it is hard to recover damages. On the bright side, there are excellent medical care facilities located around the globe.
Friends of mine had surgical procedures while visiting in South America. They were traveling on a sailboat and had the option of flying back to the USA for treatment. Since they were uninsured, they made inquiries and learned about the best local facilities. They saved half the cost of the same procedure in the USA and had a positive outcome.
An additional bonus: the cost of prescription medications in South America is a fraction of the cost in the USA. So they also saved money on drugs for all of their medical conditions.
Facing massive medical costs? Consider being a medical tourist, even if you stay inside American borders.