In the United States, the cost of medical care, especially for surgeries that require one or more overnight hospital stays, has increased over the past 20 years. As a result, more and more Americans are traveling across the border or across the ocean to seek medical help.

Obviously, if you are in a hospital crisis, need immediate open heart surgery, or something like that, you can not suddenly choose to travel to Thailand. However, most surgeries performed in this country are either completely optional or not very temporary. As such, more and more people choose to have these procedures outside the United States each year. This is called “medical tourism”.

These numbers will give you an idea of ​​why Americans are having trouble և spending money on popular travel procedures. In the US, hip replacement can cost up to $ 57,225. In some parts of the United States, the average cost is just under $ 30,000. The same thigh can be replaced in Spain for less than $ 7,000. Complete replacement of Knee nails, a slightly more delicate procedure, costs an average of $ 30,000. և $ 50,000 in Mexico, this surgery will give you back about $ 10,500. In Costa Rica, it will cost about $ 12,500. In Thailand, it will cost about $ 14,500.

Also, in many of these countries, hospital stays will cost more than just staying in a US hospital. Most hospitals in the United States cost about $ 11,700 a day. In Mexico, the cost per night is $ 153. It will cost $ 94 in Costa Rica.

A few years ago, friend Paul was traveling with a friend in Southeast Asia. They were staying at a small hotel near the Thai city of Chiang Mai, intending to stay there for at least a month. About a week after their stay, Paul began to have severe pain in his groin. The hotel doctor diagnosed the problem as a hernia and sent it to Chiang Mai Hospital. There they confirmed the doctor’s diagnosis and made the necessary surgical repairs. Paul spent two nights in the hospital, being treated by a well-cared-for staff. When he left, his bill was less than $ 1,200. According to him, the cost of the renovation in the United States would be about $ 7,000. as he outpatient (no overnight stay).

These numbers may not mean much to you if you are on Medicare with an additional plan or if you have high quality health insurance, but for adults under the age of 65 who do not have a Medicare supplement, going abroad for certain procedures may be viable consideration

Dental treatment plays a very important role in medical tourism, especially for the elderly. Dental costs are very high in the United States, most people are insured for it or do not have it at all, and Medicare does not cover dentistry. Due to its proximity to the United States, Mexico has established itself as a high-quality, affordable destination for dental procedures. Treatment may include dental fillings, crowns, caps, bridges, implants, and in some cases, complete restoration of the mouth. In the United States, the cost of a dental implant can be as high as $ 10,000. The average cost in Mexico is $ 1,250. Many dentists are trained there in both high schools in Mexico and the United States. .

Another very large segment of medical tourism involves cosmetic procedures for which no one has insurance. Weight loss procedures (bariatric surgery, gastric banding’s bypass) are popular products և reduce costs by 50-70% when performed in Mexico. Breast augmentation, hair transplant, rhinoplasty և face augmentation all have a 50% or better price reduction when it is done in Mexico or abroad.

The number of people going abroad for medical and dental care has been growing steadily over the past few decades. In 2019, it was estimated that 470.00 people left the country for բուժման 310,000 for dental treatment, leaving home for medical care. Of course, medical tourism experienced a sharp decline in the worst months of the epidemic, in 2020, but it is already recovering, in some cases exceeding its high level in 2019 in dollars. This may be due to the makeup factor – people who have delayed treatment for big bucks now feel safe enough to continue. However, it is clear that there is an accumulation of desire for such treatment, և as soon as the epidemic is controlled, there will be urgency.

The tourism experts have no doubt that medical tourism will stay here. Medical travel accounts for about 15% of all U.S. outbound business. Medical tourism sends 100,000 or more Americans to Mexico each year. The same experts estimate the growth rate to be in the range of 15-20% per year.

If medical tourism sounds appealing, keep in mind that any medical or dental insurance you have in the United States will have no value in any other country. It is better to weigh all the expenses related to having a procedure away from home, including where you will recover, how long, how many visits it will take, and all the expenses related to transportation. It is also possible to do a good research before committing to any type of treatment. Safety and personal security must be paramount in any decision to embark on such an adventure.