More Patients Seeking Medical Care Overseas

Physician's Money Digest, February 2007, Volume 14, Issue 2

More and more Americans are losing or getting priced out of their health benefits. And, due to apprehension about paying thousands of dollars outof- pocket for medical procedures, a growing number of Americans are heading abroad to find less expensive care. For example, a heart operation priced at $20,000 in the United States can cost as little as $6000 in India. According to MarketWatch, the rise in Americans going to other countries for health care is partly the result of globalization and multinational companies making arrangements for their employees to receive care in foreign countries in which they do business. Some hospitals in Thailand and Singapore even package vacations with medical procedures to attract foreign patients. It may eventually be less expensive for health insurers to send patients abroad if the quality of care is up to par. However, some experts feel that overseas health care may not catch on, as most people want to be around their friends and family in familiar surroundings when feeling ill.