Rising health care costs in the States and the uncertainty of Obamacare are driving businesses to seek out medical tourism options for their employees and are finding win-win solutions for the company and their employees.
Rebecca Haley exited the plane in Costa Rica from Miami on her way to a beautiful tropical four-star hotel.
Rebecca a 43-year-old line worker wasn’t there for ‘fun in the sun’ — she was in Costa Rica for a knee replacement.
And she won’t have to pay for the procedure, that’s right, free, including all travel expenses, and post-op recovery all of which is being covered by the company she work for.
Rebecca’s company gave her a choice — pay a co-pay in the states or a medical travel option for free.
A co-pay is a payment made by a beneficiary for health services in addition to that made by an insurer.
She along with a growing number of Americans are sickened (pun intended) by the rising costs of the U.S. health care system (as well as the uncertainty of Obamacare impact) and are heading to places like Costa Rica for medical services.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention up to 750,000 US residents travel abroad for care each year, opting for medical travel that provides top-of-the-line procedures and treatments at affordable prices.
Fortunately for Rebecca, her company is providing smart options for their employees because even with her insurance, she would still have paid $3,500 out of her own pocket back in the States.
Now, more and more American companies are providing options for outsourcing medical care abroad, called “medical tourism,” or “medical travel” as this solution is as a viable, economically sound health care option.
The medical tourism option has saved companies millions in health care costs over the past number of years.
In the United States, as knee replacement can cost more than $45,000 but in Costa Rica, it costs approximately half that amount so compared to co-pay scheme the company saves money sending Rebecca to Costa Rica, all expenses paid.
And to top it off both Rebecca and her company get to split a bonus check of $2,000 based the savings in insurance costs.
However, the budding industry of medial tourism does have some wrinkles to iron out as medical experts cautioned that there are serious concerns about “medical tourism” such as the risk of complications post-procedure, such as post-op infections and how these complications are to be dealt with.
For companies looking at medical tourism options, it is important for them to do their due diligence in selecting medical travel destinations. Medical facilities in countries like Costa Rica have seen a sharp increase in the number of foreign clients because of proximity – a 5 hour flight is better than a 16 hour flight to India – and as well, advanced facilities in Latin America most often have staffs that were trained in the USA and are able to provide the highest quality health care.
All things considered, medical travel is a smart, viable option for North American businesses looking to provide top quality care for their employees as well as improve their bottom line.