For some time now many Americans have been driven by the high cost of medical insurance and deficiencies in coverage to seek medical treatment abroad, in countries such as Thailand, India, Costa Rica, Brazil, South Africa, Romania, Hungary and other eastern European countries. More than a half million Americans chose to receive medical care overseas last year alone. Many medical care facilities abroad now market specific surgical procedures — such as open heart surgery, joint replacement surgery, cosmetic surgery, back surgery and dental implants — to the American public, frequently including swanky accommodation in the fees. This overseas medical care is often provided by staffs that are fluent in English, with many of the doctors having been educated or trained in their specialties in the United States. In most cases these procedures cost less than 50 percent of what they would run in the United States.
These international medical providers of specific treatments are usually well-organized and staffed with representatives based in the United States. Clients who choose to be treated abroad are often provided with help making traveling arrangements, booking hotels for recuperation stays, organizing pickup from the airport and transportation for their return home.
There are people that will highly recommend going overseas for medical treatment based on their personal experience. Still my recommendation would be to carefully research individual hospitals and clinics, before setting out to put your life and health in their hands. Check for accreditation with the International Joint Commission, or the World Health Organization (WHO), but even if the places check out with these agencies, you need to research the institutions’ background, accreditations and personnel qualifications with medical associations and on the Internet. Your personal doctor should also be included in the decision-making process. Some private insurance companies will pay for some out-of-country medical treatment — and in most cases it is a cheaper alternative than to pay for the same procedure done in the U.S. Again, you should check with your own insurance company to see if they will cover that treatment. Even with all the cost of traveling and the expense of hotels, you may still come spend less than you would on the co-pay here.