If you’re interested in medical tourism, you may have heard that you can achieve up to 90% cost savings by traveling abroad for your elective procedures. MedHalt reported that cost savings are the driving factor for 80% of people who choose to engage in medical tourism. However, while you can save money by going to another country for medical care, the amount you save varies greatly depending on the country you go to and the procedure you have done. Here are some financial factors to consider when planning your medical tourism experience.
Choose the Right Country
Some countries offer greater cost savings to medical tourists. However, you must still factor in the cost of travel and accommodation – lower cost savings in one country may actually prove to be the best deal once you factor in these additional expenses. MedHalt reports that Mexico, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Taiwan, and Turkey offer the highest levels of cost savings, ranging anywhere from 45% at the lowest to 90% at the highest. They rank the countries of South Korea and Singapore as moderate savings, with a range of up to 45%. Depending on where you are traveling from, a country with “moderate” cost savings could prove the best deal for you. Just make sure to do your research and do the math!
Perform a Comparative Analysis
Undergoing medical tourism can be very rewarding, both in the satisfaction of having good medical work done and in the cost savings. However before you pack your bags and jet off to a foreign country, make sure that it is actually the right decision for you. You will need to perform thorough research on what your desired procedure would cost you to have it performed at home. Speak to local medical providers and to your insurance company, if you have insurance. Compare your findings against the costs of medical care abroad plus your travel and accommodation costs. In most cases, you will find that engaging in medical tourism is the most cost effective option overall, but you always want to be certain before making the move to go abroad.
Consider Opportunity Cost
This can go both ways. As mentioned above, you need to acknowledge the cost comparisons between having your medical procedure performed at home and having it done abroad. However, there is one aspect that was not touched on above. This is opportunity cost. For example, if you have your medical procedure performed near your home, you may miss a few days of work but depending on the procedure, it should not be too extensive. However when you go to a foreign country to have medical work done, and perhaps to convalesce as well, you will likely be missing much more work days than if you had stayed home. Again, do the math and figure up these expenses to see whether engaging in medical tourism is truly the best value for you. In most cases, it likely will be. Another aspect of medical tourism is, of course, the tourism aspect! In regards to opportunity cost, you could weigh the costs of missing work and traveling abroad against the projected costs against the anniversary vacation with your spouse that you’ve been wanting to take. If you wrap your medical treatment and a wonderful vacation together in one, you’ve created opportunity cost savings.
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