Take a Health Vacation to Thailand
Medical tourism is a trend that’s sweeping across the globe, combining international travel, medical care, and luxury accommodations. The National Coalition on Healthcare says that around half a million Americans traveled abroad last year for surgeries that would cost two or three times as much in the United States. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, individual American family health coverage totals about $11,500 a year, with employees contributing around $3,000 on their own. Low-cost, high-quality medical care in developing countries will definitely lure Americans to opt for medical packages to destinations like Thailand, Mexico, Singapore, and India, which offer a wide range of services.
International Travel and Quality Medical Care
These health vacations are, “Just one of the many ways in which our world is flattening. Many companies see it as a natural extension of the competition they’ve faced in other aspects of their business,” says Arnold Milstein, chief physician at New York’s Mercer Health & Benefits. Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have increased by 87% in the last six years. Sixty-year-old Dodie Gilmore of Oklahoma needed hip surgery at a cost of nearly $40,000, which her health plan wouldn’t cover. Gilmore discovered that the Max Super Specialty Hospital in India would perform the same surgery for $7,000. With such a colossal savings, Gilmore’s boss offered to pay for the entire health vacation (international travel plus medical care), and hotel accommodations, at a total cost of $12,000.
Medical Packages to Thailand
A company that sells self-insurance policies for small businesses, United Group Programs (UGP) in Boca Raton, Florida, has taken the plunge into medical tourism. UGP offers medical packages to Thailand where patients can receive quality treatment at the Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, an organization that has recognized about 100 hospitals overseas, including eleven in Singapore and five in India, has accredited this hospital.
Source: Jessica Fraser, “Employers increasingly tapping medical tourism for cost savings,” NewsTarget.com, November 6