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Medical Tourism as an Option to Reduce Health Care Costs

Posted Apr 06 2009 11:15pm
Consumers are starting to find more cost-effective options for elective surgery by traveling to foreign countries where they have the procedure done and save themselves tens of thousands of dollars. A Wall Street Journal story in late September reported that an open heart surgery in the U.S. can cost about $100,000 and can be done an at internationally accredited hospital in India for only $8,500. A hip replacement surgery in the U.S. averages $45,000-$50,000 but can be performed for $12,000 in Singapore.

According to the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, 750,000 patients traveled abroad in 2007 for in-patient and outpatient procedures. A private health-care provider in Singapore says the number of U.S. patients they treated in 2007 doubled from a year earlier.

What’s interesting is a growing number of insurers are starting to realize the cost-savings of medical tourism. Not only does the insurer save money, but the employer and the employee also benefit from the reduced costs. For the complete story on Paying Workers to Go Abroad for Health Care, be sure to read the article in the Wall Street Journal

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