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Passport to Health
I'll take door number three, Bob.
Congratulations! You've just won an all-expenses paid trip to beautiful India! While you're there, you'll receive a top-of-the-line surgical procedure courtesy of your insurance company.
Thank you for playing, "Let's Make a Recovery."
The health insurance giant Wellpoint has announced that next year it will launch a medical tourism program that will give its clients the opportunity to fly to India for surgical procedures. While it may seem like a long way to go for a hip replacement or a heart bypass, but you can't argue with the accounting. A typical hip replacement surgery in the United States can cost up to $80,000. In India, it can be as little as $8,000. The price disparity is similar for other procedures.
Other insurance companies have taken note of the 750,000 Americans who participated in medical tourism last year. In addition to Wellpoint, Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp. and UnitedHealth Group are also said to be developing programs.
Undoubtedly, a large portion of the people traveling overseas for operations are doing so because they don't have health insurance.
Would you be willing to go to another country for a life-saving surgery? How would you go about making sure it's safe? [BusinessWeek]
Wow, that is crazy. Talk about a way to highlight what a mess our health care system is here in the United States! I really, really hope Obama will deliver on his health care proposals.