Thinking of going abroad for a better value for a medical procedure? Here are some companies who make it possible.
Just imagine, your health care plan requires a huge deductible, or perhaps you are one of a growing population who have been forced due to unaffordable costs to buy a healthcare plan that has high deductibles. Perhaps, the procedure you need is considered elective and you have to pay for it with your own money which is common with plastic surgery or in vitro fertilization.
Lets face it, prices for medical procedures are taken from the sky without conscience and due to a medical monopoly that keeps others from competing (legislation that prevents other professions from performing these procedures) or years of marketing that makes the public believe that only one group or specialty is capable of performing these procedures, has led to absurd pricing power.
Fear is a huge driver in medical decision making; for example, mention the word cancer and people make irrational decisions even if the growth is not life threatening. This is because the public is not educated enough to make life and death decisions rationally, a reason for caution on behalf of patients and perhaps why patients need to have more access to better information. With fear come a willingness to submit to overpriced procedures, not realizing they may have other options including some middle America hospitals or some hospitals that are excellent and overseas who will perform the procedure for much less.
Unfortunately, most people with a potentially life threatening illness believe they do not have a choice and readily submit to procedures done at overpriced hospitals who nickel and dime them into bankruptcy if they do not have insurance (read about the cost of an iv drip here).
As consumers shoulder more of the cost themselves, or perhaps opt to go out of network as some will do, they do have genuine choices but need to sometimes travel to find them. This willingness to step outside the box for financial affordability is called medical tourism.
While most insurers do not yet have systems that embrace this concept, which could break the hold of these American medical monopolies and bring costs more into line with other countries, there are a number of companies on the internet that are travel agencies specializing in matching patients to doctors abroad and facilities abroad, while they make all the travel and health arrangements. This is great for consumers because as the world gets smaller, we have more choices.
Here are a few companies I found on the internet