Medical tourism refers to people traveling to a country other than their own to obtain medical treatment. With many Americans either not covered by medical, vision or dental insurance medical tourism is a travel trend that can save you thousands of dollars.
Recently, Charlene and I went in for a dental checkup and to our amazement we needed about $10,000 worth of dental maintenance done. Our basic problem was that most of the dental work that we had gotten over the years was getting worn out. Crowns that had been in place for 20 years were beginning to fail. Fillings that had been in place since the 70’s were warn out. The bottom line was although the dental work we had received over the years had been excellent it was time for some major maintenance work. The problem was we had chosen to opt out of major dental insurance with our health insurance plan, so our insurance will not cover our needed dental work.
We had friends that had traveled to dentists in Mexico, with good results, so we decided to explore that option. Over the last few weeks we have been researching medical tourism and what we have found is amazing. This week we sent our $10,000 estimate from our local dentist to five dentists in Mexico for estimates. Within 5 days we had all of the estimates back from dentists we had contacted and to our amazement we could save approximately $7500 by traveling to Mexico to get the maintenance work done on our teeth.
Below is screen shot that shows some basic cost savings for common dental work and the time needed for these procedures.
As you can see the savings are amazing. In the first line of the chart you will see that a composite filling by a dentist in the United States can cost around $200 and the cost at a Mexican dental clinic is only $40. That’s an 80% savings.
The savings on medical procedures is just as amazing. Below is a 2016 chart provided by medical tourism.com. As you can see costs in different parts of the world can be as much as 90% less expensive if you are willing to travel to get procedures done outside the United States.
With millions of Americans facing the horror of being uninsured in the country with the highest cost of health care in the history of the world traveling to get medical care is a real option. In the next few months we will be exploring the realities of Medical / Dental tourism and sharing our own experiences as we travel to Mexico to get our own dental maintenance done.
This is an important part of Geezer Travel and so we plan to devote a 5 part series just to medical tourism. If you are interested in medical tourism here are some helpful web sites that can get you started: CDC article on medical tourism; AARP article on medical tourism; Dentaldepartures.com; and Medicaldepartures.com.
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