Medical Travel as a Money-Saving Healthcare Option

by Lynn B. Johnson ,  Your Medical Travel | 2009-09-08

Want to save 40 to 80 percent of the cost of a domestic Total Knee Replacement, heart procedure, plastic surgery, or any other typically high-cost medical procedure? You might look into medical travel, which can save you up to 80 percent of the typical costs for an equivalent procedure in the United States.

"If the procedure you're considering costs more than $6,000 in the United States, it might be worthwhile and money-saving for you to evaluate a medical travel option," says Patrick Marsek, managing director of MedRetreat and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Medical Tourism.

Medical travel companies, such as Bridge Health International, Satori World Medical and MedRetreat, provide low-hassle options for people considering traveling abroad for health procedures.

The arguments for medical travel are compelling, and can include: low to no-cost procedures, hospitals with standards meeting or exceeding U.S. levels of care, and ease of use.

If you are insured, and your employer offers a health reimbursement account (HRA), a company like Satori World Medical would be a good place to start your medical travel inquiries.

"Through our model, the patient has no out-of-pocket costs," says Steven Lash, CEO of Satori World Medical. "If you use our network, not only will you avoid out-of-pocket costs, but you will also avoid receiving a bill. In addition, your employer will fund a portion of the savings because it's so significant with the HRA. You could get home and find that there's a deposit in your HRA that you can use to fund future healthcare."

Some of the member countries might be considered Third World, but the care is first-rate. Satori's world network only uses hospitals that are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the international arm of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals.

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