What is medical tourism?
Healthcare costs seem to increase every single year. Most people have health insurance that does not cover all their needs. When coverage is not present, the financial impact can be devastating. A single operation that is not covered properly can result in a lifetime of debt. Worse, many procedures, including most types of cosmetic surgery, are not covered by insurance.
Many people are turning to medical tourism. Medical tourism is when a person travels to another location, generally to another country, to receive healthcare. For many reasons, healthcare costs vary widely across different countries. If the quality of care is the same, it only makes sense to go where the best value is. After all, most people shop around when buying a car or television. Why should a surgical operation be different than other major purchases?
Cosmetic surgery is one of the most common reasons people engage in medical tourism. There are several reasons for this. First of all, most insurance companies will not cover the costs of cosmetic surgery, as it is usually an elective procedure. Secondly, because cosmetic surgery is elective and is normally not urgent, people have time to consider various locations, select an appropriate provider and board a plane for their desired destinations. These steps are not feasible for someone who is having a heart attack, but for people desiring cosmetic surgery, medical tourism is a great way to receive excellent service and save money.
People considering breast surgery abroad, or other types of cosmetic surgery, should be aware of the following risks and insurance coverage:
- While many hospitals in other countries are internationally certified and meet the highest safety standards, some hospitals do not. These hospitals can be risky. However, many hospitals have high reputations are are as safe as any in the world.
- Similarly, some hospitals may charge patients for procedures they do not truly need. It is doubly important to be aware of what your own needs are, and to be on the lookout for possible scams.
- In some countries, various criminals will attempt to swindle foreigners outside of the hospital as well. Some countries may also have different laws and customs. It is critical to be aware of the new environment a different country brings.
- Traveling after receiving cosmetic surgery may be inadvisable. A patient may need to stay in the country for a few additional days before boarding an airplane, as long flights can hamper recovery.
- People with a criminal record may have difficulty traveling to some other countries.
Are you insured for medical and cosmetic procedures abroad? Take note that insurance may cover cosmetic surgery as a pre-existing condition, but find out if the big 5 health insurance companies can offer better.
At the end of the day, what are the pros and cons of going abroad for cosmetic surgery? If you answer ‘yes’ to most of these questions, you are an excellent candidate:
1) Do you want to save money on cosmetic surgery?
2) Are you comfortable adapting to the environment in a foreign country?
3) Do you have a passport?
4) Does your current health insurance policy lack coverage for cosmetic surgery?
5) Can you obtain a sufficient amount of time away from work to allow for a plane flight, an operation, recovery and a return flight?
What is the cost of going abroad for a tummy tuck or other cosmetic procedure? Obviously, the exact price varies from country to country and hospital to hospital, but it is not difficult to find high-quality, modern doctors offering procedures for a fraction of the price you would pay at home. The operation can be done quickly and conveniently. While you are abroad, you can enjoy more traditional types of tourism as well. It is really not a hassle at all. In fact, medical tourism can be quite a rewarding experience, as well as an excellent way to save money.