So to make travel abroad more attractive, plans that offer medical-tourism programs often throw in a bonus for employees if they agree to undergo elective surgeries abroad, or they offer to split the cost savings between the employer and worker. Travel and accommodation costs also are sometimes reimbursed.
Maine-based supermarket chain Hannaford Bros. Co. this year began allowing its 18,000 insured workers and dependents to travel to an internationally accredited hospital in Singapore for surgical hip and knee replacements. The company's self-funded plan, which is administered by Aetna Inc., waives out-of-pocket expenses, which can save patients up to $3,000, and reimburses all travel costs.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Importing cheap medical care
Open-heart surgery, which can cost roughly $100,000 in the U.S., can be done at an internationally accredited hospital in India for just $8,500. Smells like an unconsummated wealth creating transaction: