In the United Kingdom, as in almost all developed countries, there are insurance companies that offer all types of health insurance coverage. However, we will be discussing medical tourism for citizens of the United Kingdom.
In Britain for example, citizens have a state funded system called the National Health Service or NHS. In other areas of the United Kingdom, there are also public or government funded health insurance plans. In most of these territories, you can buy a private plan to better your options when needing medical care. Private insurance can also be funded by an employer or purchased individually.
However, what is covered by a public or private medical insurance policy will vary. Whether the insurer is private or public, coverage is often limited when it comes to interventions that are considered luxury or cosmetic surgeries and even bariatric surgery.
When the insurance company is state-owned or public, meaning it depends on the country’s government funding the benefits that cover illnesses and injuries, some types of surgeries or procedures can also be limited. Typically they do not pay for procedures unless they are medically necessary or procedures that are required to intervene and prevent further illness.
Insurance companies typically exclude coverage when it comes to surgical interventions that have to do with cosmetology, such as permanent eyebrow and eye alignment, nasal and chin corrections, Botox, skin resurfacing and other dermatological skin treatments, as well as all types of surgical interventions that have to do with bariatric surgery. Bariatric procedure coverage may be included in some plans but it can be limited or insufficient.
Many women from the United Kingdom travel to the United States to undergo all kinds of medical procedures, which can be vital for survival, as well as other types of interventions that are for a more aesthetic purpose. The male medical tourism market has also been expanding with more and more travelling for a cosmetic procedure or a treatment that cannot be affordably or easily obtained in the UK.
Some of the procedures that are considered cosmetic or aesthetic such as breast reduction, or nasal realignment may be more important and needed than a beauty enhancing procedure. However, in the United Kingdom, access to treatment that may not be medically necessary, can be difficult and costly.
On the other end of the spectrum is those who want cosmetic and aesthetic improvements such as breast augmentation, face lifts, liposuction, eye lifts, Botox, tummy tucks, rhinoplasty and other restoration or improvement in the appearance of the body. Additionally there are large numbers travelling from the United Kingdom, especially England, Northern Ireland and Scotland to have fertility treatments.
People from all over Europe and specifically the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Scotland travel in search of cheaper medical care or for a center of excellence. This has increased medical tourism in the United States. Coupled with the medical tourism vacation, the travel gives people the opportunity to visit other countries. When it comes to dental interventions, there are many patients who come in search of orthodontic and endodontic treatments, including dental implants, bridges, crowns, dentures, and other mouth restoration procedures.
The quality of United States doctors and advanced techniques employed in cosmetic and conventional surgery are state of the art and go hand in hand with the latest scientific advances and discoveries along with the implementation of new products. However the other factor is the procedures can be much cheaper for a patient from the UK to receive medical treatment in the United States. Even with airfare and accommodation, a patient will be able to receive medical treatment for a fraction of the cost.
When it comes to dealing with the current pandemic, the United States is among the first to have thoroughly complied with vaccination programs, including safe treatment and the administration of COVID 19 vaccines. Additionally, if a person who entered the US for medical treatment contracts the virus, they will be treated promptly and effectively before being allowed to return home.
People coming from the United Kingdom and other medical tourists who wish to take advantage of the medical programs in the United States, have access to services that are part of the medical tourism process, including, but not limited to, the following:
The consultation is the first step between the patient and the treating physician. This includes the diagnosis of the disease, suggested treatment plan or approval for a elective procedure. They can also be referred to a specialist, if needed. They will discuss the financial aspect of the treatment, estimated time of hospitalization, and possibilities of recovery time periods are established.
In the case of a surgical intervention, this will be subject to the results of all the rigorous examinations that patients has undergone. The receiving medical care provider will want to review the medical history of the patient to determine the best medical intervention for the specific patient.
The patient will be given a number of locations, whether they are hospitals, private clinics or rehabilitation centers and the patient can choose the place that best suits their economic and personal interests.
For all of the above reasons, many people are willing to travel to the United States to receive medical care from highly qualified personnel, with the certainty that they will be well attended.
Between getting a check-up, having a surgical intervention or receiving a needed medical procedure that would be too costly or unavailable in the United Kingdom, cosmetology, cosmetic and bariatric surgeries, the United States stand out as one of the top countries that receives medical tourists from all over the world. Top destinations in the United States include Houston, Texas, Baltimore, Maryland, and Los Angeles, California, and Miami, Florida.
United Kingdom citizens travelling for medical care should review their travel insurance policy, as most of them have an exclusion if travelling for medical care. They should check to see if medical complications coverage for a medical tourist is available to cover them while outside of their country in the case of unexpected additional medical expenses. They may also want to engage the assistance of an experienced medical tourism facilitator to assist with the procedure details. With all of the advances in care, the availability of treatment and the specialized medical professionals, medical tourism to the United States from the United Kingdom is still growing. Even though medical tourism destinations in Europe for UK citizens is easier to travel to and may take less time.
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