Fed up with the high cost of health care, you may consider traveling across the country to get the surgeries you need.
Traditional medical tourism has involved Americans going out of the country for cheaper health care in Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, or Hungary, among other places. Hungary and Costa Rica, in particular, are hot spots for cheap reconstructive dental procedures. The savings can be extraordinary — up to 75 percent.
The big question with medical tourism abroad has always been, “What kind of care do you get overseas?”
Price alone is not the determinant of it being a good idea to go to a provider for care.
If you are considering going overseas for a procedure, check first with the Joint Commission International to see which facilities are fully accredited.
Of course, there are also other things to consider before going overseas. Bringing malpractice litigation can be difficult; there are fewer regulations; you may face a lack of adequate follow-up care; and the culture shock and jet lag can sometimes be too much for patients.
Another big problem is isolation from your family. Of course, with the savings you’re getting, you can just say, “Come along!” But if that’s not an option, try free video chat on your smartphone through apps like Skype, Zoom, Google Meet (Android), or FaceTime (Apple iOS). Just remember to be on an international plan with your cell phone carrier or buy an unlocked world phone and a SIM card for your country of destination to avoid getting hammered on the data rates.