Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Viva MedTourism!

We've covered the subject of medical tourism pretty heavily over the years; folks from the US take advantage of it, of course, but so do folks from countries with "universal care," believe it or not.
One downside has been the cost: although many procedures are less expensive overseas (even factoring in travel and lodging costs), many folks aren't really able to pre-figure the total expense, or know how to coordinate all the many facets. And insurance companies haven't exactly been lining up to help their insured with these arrangements.
That may be changing:
"Members now have the ability to receive high-quality medical care overseas at a fraction of the U.S. cost! If you need a hip replacement, knee replacement, arterial bypass or other procedure, Companion Global Healthcare will assist you."
[ed: There's no link to the quote because it's from an email I received from the carrier, not copied from a website]
Folks who are insured with Companion Life will now have access to coordinated care, including surgical services, travel arrangements, transfer services from airports to hospital, even passports and visas, as well as scheduling of the care itself. While this certainly isn't an insured expense, it marks the first time I've seen such an effort by a US insurer. If there's a downside to the plan, it's that the carrier offers only limited benefit (not major medical) plans.
Still, it's a start.
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